Archive for Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Acceptance of Sesquicentennial funds no guarantee of starting plaza project

September 14, 2005

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The city's Sesquicentennial Commission received praise but no hard promises from Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday night.

Commissioners were told that the Sesquicentennial Commission had raised $202,685 to be used for the creation of a new park below the Clinton Lake Dam commemorating the city's 150th birthday, which was last September.

City commissioners said they generally liked the idea of getting started with Sesquicentennial Point, a 97-acre park that would feature a plaza and special walkway with engraved stones from prominent businesses, families and organizations. But commissioners said they needed more information on how much the first phase of the project would cost before they would commit to beginning the project.

"If we only have $200,000 and it cost $400,000 to do phase one, then we're going to have to have a lot more discussion," said City Commissioner David Schauner.

The Sesquicentennial Commission originally had hoped to raise $300,000 to build the point, and chairwoman Clenece Hills said she hoped people would continue to donate to the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department.

City commissioners said they were impressed with all the success that the group has had.

"When they announced their original goal, I had concerns they wouldn't get anywhere close to it," Schauner said. "But Clenece's belief in Lawrence's generosity has been right on target."

City Commissioner Sue Hack also said that the community should rest assured that the commission would take some future action on the Sesquicentennial Point project.

"It absolutely is going to be a wonderful community gathering place for years to come," Hack said.

Hills and members of the commission sang "Happy Birthday" to city commissioners and passed out cookies to the crowd to commemorate the city's 151st birthday, which will be Sunday.

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