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Hobbs parks getting facelifts

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As the current Hobbs fiscal year winds down, and the weather warms up, work will pick up at parks and green spaces around Hobbs.

Topping the list are plans to rebuild and upgrade the fishing pier on the north shore of Green Meadow Lake off the Lovington Highway in north Hobbs, said Matt Hughes with the city’s Parks and Open Spaces Department.

At least 15 years old if not more — it was here when Hughes came to Hobbs in the mid-2000s, he said — it’s time to upgrade and replace the dock which has served local anglers over the years.

“We’ll deconstruct the current dock and put new boards in,” Hughes told the News-Sun recently. “The plan is to take it down to the studs and build it back up.”

As in its current form, the new dock will comply with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements, opening the pastime of fishing to all Hobbs residents, he said.

On the other side of town, Charlie Brown Park on East Dunham Street is also in the plans for some work. The current picnic pavilion, which sits immediately adjacent to Dunham Street, will be torn down and a new pavilion built, further from the street, Hughes said. Moving the pavilion away from the street will increase safety, particularly for families with small children who like to run around and play.

The pavilion “is not situated well in the park,” Hughes said. “We’ll put a new one in that’s larger. We’ll also put some new walkways in there and expand the parking lot.”

Work on the Charlie Brown Park pavilion could begin within the next month, he said.

And there’s concrete signage in the works from Harry McAdams Park off Jack Gomez Boulevard north of town. New signs will be constructed for both the primary park entrance and the camping area, Hughes said.

“And we’ll be adding a new grill station at the large pavilion at Harry McAdams,” he said. “It will be one of the large concrete grill stations like you’ll see in bigger parks. Not just the regular old charcoal grills, but a really nice grill. And we’ll be adding some concrete corn hole boards into that park as well.”

Additional plans are in discussion with funding in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, including a playground replacement project at Heizer Park of East Stanolind Drive. The city has money set aside for Heizer, Hughes said, and has received quotes for the project “but the trigger has not been pulled on that one yet.”

Not all the projects in the works this spring are functional. Some are purely aesthetic, Hughes said, adding to the city commission’s commitment “quality of life” issues in Hobbs. Those projects include landscaping at the Hobbs Police Department on North Turner Street and the median areas along South Dal Paso Street near the Martin Luther King Soccer Complex in south Hobbs.

And the city has a “wish list” for additional projects in the new fiscal year, which starts July 1, Hughes said. He was reticent to name specific projects or areas where work could take place later in the summer because plans are nowhere near being finalized, he said.

“After we’ve gone through the budget process we’ll have a little bit better idea of what kind of projects we’re going to go into,” he said. “I don’t want to throw it out there because, if it doesn’t happen, I don’t want to disappoint people.”

With close to 400 acres of parks and green space in the city, with more than one quarter of that encompassing Rockwind Community Links, the city has made a definitive commitment to provide recreational opportunities through parks, trails and more for residents, Hughes said. And people use the facilities, he said.

“From the athletic fields to the soccer complex to the parks in general — all of these are well maintained and highly used,” Hughes said. “You can go out on any Saturday or Sunday and our parks are full of people. It’s part of the plan, the quality of life initiative our current commission has had for quite a while.”

Andy Brosig may be reached at reporter1@hobbsnews.com.

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