Layout of Sunbelt Park sparks debate at Council
KINGMAN – The Sunbelt Park Master Plan was one item that saw some minor debate between councilmembers at their meeting Tuesday, as a representative from the Kingman Youth Soccer League floated the idea of rearranging or removing some of the park’s proposed amenities to make room for additional fields.
The proposed $6.7 million park, at least the layout recommended by staff, is set to include four Olympic-sized soccer fields that can be split into smaller spaces if needed. Also planned are a fire station, basketball and sand volleyball courts, ramadas, a splash pad, restrooms and snack bar. Parks and Recreation Director Mike Meersman noted the park would not be completed all at once, but in phases.
Sean Witt with KYSL said the proposed park is close to being able to accommodate an entire tournament, but falls just short. However, he noted it could fill that capacity with a “couple of tweaks.” Witt spoke to the growing popularity of soccer in Kingman, which is one reason for why he would like to see even more fields be accommodated by the park.
Witt proposed cutting out some bushes to make additional space and also said “we don’t see the need for two ramadas...” Aside from removing some of what was proposed, Witt also said some of the amenities could be put in at an angle to make for even more space.
“We would like to be able to get it all done in the same field in one day,” he said of tournaments. “And if we maximize the amount of green space, I think we could do that. The snack bar, we’ve never ran a snack bar, I don’t know why we would need one.”
Mayor Jen Miles believed Council wasn’t ready for a vote after being presented with the suggestions, and also because what was to be voted on was an updated plan from what was included in the agenda. Meersman said the City could make the project work with the field sizes KYSL desires.
“This isn’t just soccer fields, we have a community to take care of here,” said Councilwoman Deana Nelson. “I can appreciate where some of this area here needs to be for other sources and not just the soccer fields. Yes, we need ramadas because we need places for people to sit. It’s a park for everybody in the community, that’s my thought. It’s not just a soccer field for KYSL.”
Vice Mayor Travis Lingenfelter thought it was “fair” to consider the suggestions since “they’re the ones partnering and coming up with money.”
“This is going to be something that you can see from the highway like you can see Centennial Park from the highway,” the vice mayor said. “I think there’s a prospective for sports tourism that we need to include here. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it the right way.”
Nelson was ready to vote on the item, but Council chose to table it by a vote of 4-2, Nelson and Councilwoman SueAnn Mello Keener dissenting. Councilman Ken Watkins was excused from Tuesday’s meeting.