Jimenez Park additions stallBy: Kathryn Palmer Of The Lincoln News Messenger
The next phases for Chief Jimenez Park are stalled, due to current lack of funding, according to Lincoln staff.
In September, city staff hoped to use an estimated $7 million to put toward Jimenez and Lincoln Crossing South parks by refinancing a Lincoln Crossing bond. However, that process has presented difficulties, according to Lincoln City Manager Jennifer Hanson.
Additionally, the Western Placer Unified School District has chosen not to go forward with their partnership to help the city build Lincoln Crossing South, according to Hanson and the school district superintendent. Hanson said there are no identified sources of funding at this time for the planned additions to Chief Jimenez Park. “The next phase calls for a long field, which can be used for soccer, rugby or football,” said the city of Lincoln’s Parks and Recreation committee member Jim Datzman. The final stage will be the addition of two ball fields for softball and Little League, and ideally all three of these fields will be lighted, according to Datzman.
However, Hanson said city staff is still searching for sources to fund Jimenez Park, after which it will be able to take the proposal to City Council. That might take some, time, according to Hanson. “I don’t think this will get funded in this fiscal year,” Hanson said. Jimenez Community Park is a 17-acre park bordered by Highway 65, Ferrari Ranch Road and Groveland Lane in the Lincoln Crossing neighborhood. So far, Chief Jimenez Park has four lighted tennis courts, two non-lighted basketball courts, restroom facilities, a plaza, lighted gravel parking lot and accessible sidewalks. Lincoln Crossing South is planned to be a 5.2-acre joint use park owned by the city and developed in partnership with the Western Placer Unified School District, adjacent to the in-the-works Lincoln Crossing Elementary School off Caledon Circle. That park, too, has stalled.
“The district has notified us that they will not be moving forward,” Hanson said, adding that Western Placer Unified School District is choosing to focus on building its new elementary school.
Increasing construction costs made the district’s intended $1-million contribution to the park’s construction financially impossible, according to Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman.
Although Hanson and Leeman said the park is not currently being developed, there is still the intention and desire to build the park sometime in the future.
Lincoln Crossing Association’s Board President John Fischer said he’s looking forward to the completion of the Chief Jimenez park project, which will round out the development. “When the construction ends over there, it’s going to be nice. That whole corner is going to be fabulous,” Fischer said. “If they could fastrack it, that would be great.”
In addition to the Jimenez Park progress, the Parks and Recreation Committee has recommended that City Council hear a proposal regarding the planned construction of a veterans’ memorial in McBean Park. The memorial is supported by the Lincoln Veterans Memorial Coalition, Inc., which aims to have the memorial ready for a public unveiling ceremony this November to honor the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice.