City Council and Samford discuss joint park project

A sketch of a potential design for a joint Samford University-City of Homewood park.

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

Samford University and the City of Homewood have begun plans for a new park to be built to the north of Samford’s campus.

In July 2011, the University proposed the joint park project and asked to meet with officials of the City of Homewood and interested area residents to develop a plan for a cooperative effort to build the park.

Before discussing the park design, such as the amenities, size and layout, the University and the Homewood City Council will determine how to establish, maintain, and operate the park in accordance with the law.

Samford Vice President for Operations and Planning Sarah C. Latham said that the partnership process has begun.

“At this point, we are discussing what a potential park partnership might look like as it relates to liability, maintenance and other factors,” Latham said. “There was also a survey open to neighbors in January to get feedback on what they would like to see as it relates to a park. We are very early on in the discussion, and there will be ample opportunity for feedback.”

Samford and the Homewood City Council still need to discuss what the land ownership would look like, what zoning issue would be involved with park placement, how maintenance would be handled, and the liability issues when using the park.

In 2008, Samford developed a park proposal for potential collaboration with the city that was a starting point of conversation regarding park costs. The proposal totaled $172,000 and did not factor in the value of the land or any facility removal that might be required because of the park’s size.

Once Samford and the Homewood City Council agree on what the park partnership would look like, city officials, neighbors, and the University will then come together and determine park size, location and amenities.

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