WILLCOX— The Parks and Recreation Budget for the City of Willcox was discussed recently during a presentation as part of the April 1 special meeting of City Council.

During that discussion, needed improvements/additions to Keiller Park, Quail Park and Railroad Park were presented to city council members and the public in attendance. The focus was on making sure all three of the parks meet the needs of all ages and levels of physical abilities, so as to be more inclusive than they currently are.

According to a PowerPoint presentation, “Arizona State Parks Grant: pays up to 50% of City’s Match; City can use in-kind contributions such as staff time, business donations, etc. and previous funding from AZ State Parks Grant included Keiller Park Walking Path, City of Willcox Pool, Quail Park Baseball/Softball Fields.”

Sources for the city to fund these projects include $500,000 Community Block Grant, $400,000 COVID, $250,000-plus general fund, low interest loan, Visitor Center and Legacy Foundation $100,000.

At Keiller Park the following areas are being looked at for renovations: Restrooms, (installing a better) irrigation system, spray park, field lighting, workout equipment, fencing, conversation to multi-use fields, pool and reseeding, planting trees and removing a hump.

Willcox is looking into adding the following items to Keiller Park: “missing canopy cover for heat and weather; ADA equipment (at swing sets); outdated equipment and slides, non-inclusive; bench missing rubber edging, bent; grill missing bottom; (a new) fountain (old one is not ADA compliant); missing grills near ramadas; connect(ing) (basketball courts) with concrete; goal posts need (to be) anchored in ground, workout equipment (anchored into ground).

At Quail Park the city would like to add the following items: “Lighting, (a) playground canopy (to help protect against heat and rain), restroom (updating) and sewer improvements, fencing (repair) and (an) event center.”

City Manager Caleb Blaschke added that the city has “met with a member from the Arizona State Parks Department, and they have paid for prior projects such as the pool, lighting, and trails. They told us they are excited to help us, and anything park-related will most likely get funded. We have needs in our community and meet a diverse range of our population in our community. As our community continues to grow our quality of life needs to improve.

“Arizona State Parks will pay up to 50% and the city can use in-kind contributions to include our staff time. We got $100,000 from the Legacy Foundation and can use that as a match along with SSVEC’s labor, truck rental and gas as a match. Other matches we can use are businesses and if they use their labor or discount their product, we can use that too. It becomes a community effort. We will be getting surveys out there.”