LR acquires park land | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LR acquires park land

Posted By on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:29 PM

The city of Little Rock just got a new soccer field. Central Arkansas Water commissioners OK'd the conveyance of approximately 80 acres behind the Lake Maumelle dam on state Hwy. 300 to the city. The warranty deed is subject to an easement; CAW can use the land to stage materials for repairs or other construction projects at the dam and pump station. The deed requires the city to use the land only for recreation.
Barry Haas, who has fought to keep development away from the lake's watershed, spoke against the land transfer, noting that the water department had argued that it needed the land for the protection of the lake when it condemned the property in 1959. Haas called it "bad policy" to sell to the city land once taken from private property owners. Haas also noted that the land is well outside the city limits and developing it as a soccer field will do little for any but the "well-connected folks in the western part of town."
Ruth Bell of the League of Women Voters told the commission she was fearful the 8-foot fence, which will be topped with razor wire, that will separate the playing field from the waterworks property could be a dangerous attraction to adventurous kids and insufficient deterence to those who would do harm to the waterworks.
The land, because of its proximity to the pump and dam, was fenced off after 9/11. CAW apparently believes it safe to come little closer now. The vote by the commission was unanimous.
Truman Tolefree and Mark Webre of the city Parks Department attended. They said the fields would be ready by the end of 2010. No lights will be installed in the first phase of park development; Little Rock astronomers objected to the transfer of the property when it was first proposed many years ago because it was a popular viewing spot.

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