Whether or not the City of Atchison will retain Morrow Park as a locally taxpayer-funded and supported recreation area will be one of the items discussed during Monday’s regular commission meeting.
The city has owned and maintained the park since the parcels of land were donated in 1963. Most of the park’s useful life was as a youth baseball field until the construction of the sports complex rendered the field obsolete in 2012. More recently, part of the park has been used as a community garden.
City leaders have been discussing the “right-sizing” of city parks for years, as currently the city maintains an abundance of green space – about five times as much as the average community the same size as Atchison. With so many community needs, leaders have questioned the wisdom of keeping and maintaining a few of the hardly used facilities – preferring to focus the city’s limited resources where more residents can benefit. During the 2018 Community Survey, 66% of respondents supported retiring underutilized parks and facilities so the city can better maintain parks and facilities that are most frequently used.
Even though the park will be discussed by commissioners on Monday, final action isn’t expected until the second meeting in February.
Other agenda items that should see commissioner action are a failed rezoning application that would allow the construction of duplexes on North Sixth Street, the LFM Park Master Plan and the purchase of equipment for both the wastewater treatment plant and the Public Works Department.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the City Commission Room.