City manager updates board on future renovations

By Nancy Gutierrez

At the Lindsay Unified School District meeting Jan. 26, board members were given a presentation by City Manager Scott Townsend on the Lindsay Wellness Center as well as the extensive renovations the City of Lindsay will embark on in the next five years.

Townsend said there were three areas that the city is concentrating on: City Park, the Wellness Center and downtown Lindsay renovations and street repair.

There were 22 city positions eliminated to help accomplish this goal. Townsend said only six were occupied positions. City officials are also considering increasing the fee for water, sewer and refuse to complete the grandiose projects talked about at the meeting.

Townsend elaborated on the Wellness Center and the plan that has been created for the entire area surrounding the hospital including the golf course. Townsend said that the cost of tearing down the original hospital building is less than renovating the existing building. Surrounding the wellness center will be a recessed soccer field flanked on all sides by a terraced lawn that can be used as makeshift stadium seating. The parking lot will be renovated and tennis as well as racket-ball courts will be included. Similar renovations will reach into downtown according to Townsend.

"We will take the quality of Sweet Brier and extend it downtown," he said.

Townsend's PowerPoint presentation took board members on a drive down a future Lindsay downtown with an outdoor sports-court with stadium seating located near the Sweet Brier Plaza.

Townsend talked about creating a 'mercado' atmosphere. He said downtown merchants would receive carts to sell merchandise or food items outside on specified days of the week, similar to a farmer's market.

"We want the school district involved," Townsend said. "We want school rallies or banquets to come into the downtown."

Townsend said construction on the Wellness Center will begin in the fall and construction on the downtown area will start in 2005.

"The community has many hidden resources," Townsend said. "Physically it doesn't manifest itself. Hopefully we will see a transformation."

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