Planning Commission takes further steps in Emerson Park dedication
“This will be the first park that Stevens Point has ever developed that wasn’t on the edge of the city…this is a big deal.” – resident Michael O’Meara
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Planning commission members continued steps into dedicating the property at 1401 East Ave., otherwise known as the former site of Emerson school, into a park.
City officials believe the property is best used for a park, and has officially recommended that the entire space be used as such. According to city documents:
“This will give the City and other groups and organizations the opportunity to appropriately program the area. This return has many benefits for the surrounding neighborhood and can also raise property values, thus creating additional tax revenue.”
Emerson Park will move forward by following the adotoped 2018-2022 Comprehensive Outdoor Park and Recreation Plan.
“What we’re starting to see in the district 5 and district 3 neighborhood is a resurgent of young families moving in,” said District 5 Alder Meleesa Johnson. “We’re starting to see a change in the makeup of the neighborhood — the folks with kids don’t have a lot of places to play, and they’ve been using the Emerson park area as a park for as long as I can think of.”
Those who spoke about the subject publicly, mentioned the opportunity for those driving down Clark Street to see what could turn into a new and blossoming park for the city.
“I know it’s going to be a community park, because there’s already money raised to help make the improvements,” said Mayor Mike Wiza. “People are going to have genuine ownership of this, and that shows you how important of a project this is.”
A motion to dedicate the former Emerson school site as a park to send to council passed with a unanimous vote, followed by a round of applause from those in attendance.