MT. VERNON – The City of Mt. Vernon recently announced that it will remove unsafe equipment from Optimist Park and will redevelop the park.
The city said in a press release the rubber coating on the platform has come off in several spots, causing the metal to rust and develop holes in the walking areas. Slides have also developed holes, so they will be taken down.
Redevelopment of the structure will be addressed in Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget with a new structure to be ordered and constructed in the summer/fall of next year, according to officials.
Park visitors are unable to use the playground equipment, swings, benches and basketball court when it rains because the ground is low and floods. The skatepark has become a canvas for inappropriate and vulgar graffiti.
The city said they plan to redevelop Optimist Park into a more “usable area,” by tearing down the skatepark and moving the playground equipment, swings, benches and basketball court to the east side where the skatepark currently sits and where the ground is higher.
The west side of the park would become a more naturalized area with green space where the playground equipment currently sits.
The Jefferson County Soil and Water Department is donating pollinator seed that would be planted near the creek to become a natural area for the attraction of bees and butterflies. This would not be near any residential area and will be limited to the flood plain area.