Officials meeting to take stock of park

Kevin Wilson

The Clovis City Commission is going on a field trip.

Commissioners, and any member of the public who wishes to join them, will meet at the Clovis Municipal Golf Course pro shop 10 a.m. Monday and spend the next two hours looking over what will be absorbed into Hillcrest Park.

The outdoor meeting resulted from a study session following Thursday’s commission meeting. Parks and Recreation Director Bill Bizzell asked for the study session to get direction on what projects to do first on the parks and recreation master plan.

The golf course, which is no longer open to the public, is to be redeveloped into numerous features, including walking trails, youth sports fields, picnic areas, a splash park and a dog park.

Bizzell wanted the go-ahead on the dog park and colors for the splash park — with Clovis Wildcat purple for the centerpiece.

The dog park was OK’d for what is now the No. 2 green and No. 3 tee box, with a division to separate small and large dogs.

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen, a member of the parks and recreation board, asked why the dog park was moved from its first place, along 14th Street near Yucca Middle School. Bizzell said that was the first choice, but it didn’t have the trees and shading that the second proposed location did.

“I get more calls about the dog park than any other thing,” Bizzell said. “I don’t want to put them in a place where they aren’t happy.”

Commissioners remained divided over what to do with Municipal’s “Par 3” course and what should be done with the fencing.

“Every call I’ve got has said, ‘Keep it,’” Commissioner Randy Crowder said. Garza said he received the same calls.

Van Soelen said the calls in favor of the course were all people who didn’t want to see the municipal course shut down. The people who were fine with shutting down the course didn’t care about the “Par 3,” he said.

Mayor Gayla Brumfield said the calls were 50-50 for her, but she drives by and never sees anybody playing on it. Mayor Pro Tem Len Vohs said he likes the course, but realizes it’s tough to maintain with greens staff concentrating on the 18-hole Colonial Park Course. The purchase of the 18-hole course — formerly the Chaparral Country Club — was the linchpin for the parks and recreation plan, since it allowed for the closure of the nine-hole municipal course.

Brumfield said it might be best to delay the “Par 3” decision as long as possible while other features are being built, to allow for more public input.

Regarding the fencing, Van Soelen said it should all come down because a city park should have open access.

Commission Chris Bryant, in sentiments echoed by Garza, said he had a problem with taking down fencing along Seventh and Norris streets because it creates a safety issue with traffic. Brumfield and Van Soelen said there’s no fencing around Greene Acres, or Dennis Chavez, or Potter, or any other park, and there aren’t similar concerns.