Residents near East Lake Park waiting for upgrades
The pond is still riddled with algae and the sidewalks are crumbling, it’s some of the aging signs that still show at the city's oldest park. Upgrades are coming to a 120-year-old park in Chattanooga.
The pond is still riddled with algae and the sidewalks are crumbling, which are some of the aging signs that still show at the city's oldest park.
Upgrades are coming to a 120-year-old park in Chattanooga. East Lake Park was donated to the city in 1896 and it's still open to the public to this day.
The money for the $750,000 project was approved two years ago, yet little has been done since then.
"It's like this park doesn't matter, it's like East Lake doesn't matter, but we do matter. The people that live in East Lake do matter,” explained resident, Lisa Davis.
It may appear that little has been done to the park, but city officials tell us they are in the first of three phases.
- Phase 1 - Lake Assessment and Concept Plan Design
- Phase 2 - Full Design Lake with GI Improvements and Constructability
- Phase 3 - WQ Dredging of lake and WQ construction
Residents in the community said they want to know why it’s taking so long to see changes at the 18-acre plot of land, while other projects in the city are moving quicker.
"That’s all we're asking, that we get what we were promised two years ago and we don't want to be put on the back burner again,” Davis said.
Across town, construction is underway downtown at Miller Park. East Lake Park is in the 2017 city-operating budget while and Miller Park is not. Which has some wondering why East Lake still hasn't made any progress.
"Two separate projects, two separate projects. It started according to plan and we're going to be able to follow through with what we committed to this community,” explained District 7 Councilman Erskine Oglesby.
Those promises include dredging the pond, building an outdoor classroom, and a much-needed facelift all around at the park.
"The basic necessities for a neighborhood park have just been totally overlooked,” Davis said.
The initial project began last spring, Davis wants to know why the project keeps getting pushed back? Channel 3 asked Oglesby why
"The design is where it needed to be to start the project. We didn't want to start the project and then have to do a lot of redesign which adds to the cost, which adds to the time,” he explained.
Oglesby said he wants the community to hold him responsible for any more delays.
"I’m going to hold myself accountable as he person these people elected to serve them in this community. I consider myself accountable for whatever goes on in District 7,” Oglesby said.
The city hopes to begin placing bids to contractors this fall, and begin construction by January of 2018.