Gilbert residents will be getting two new parks in the oldest part of town before the end of the year, and are getting the chance this week to give their takes on naming these bridges between the past and present.
The park underneath the historic water tower at Ash Street and Page Avenue is scheduled to be open to the public on Nov. 8, and a second, which follows the easement underneath the power lines halfway between Elliot and Guadalupe roads, should be done by the end of the year, said Tami Ryall, assistant town manager.
|Rd.Name these parks</p><p>Gilbert officials are asking residents for their ideas on what to name two new downtown parks set to open by the end of the year.</p><p>DetailGilbertJoe's Real BBQScott Kirchhofer/TRIBUNE" />|
Town Council, redevelopment, and parks and recreation board members will meet with residents and downtown stakeholders to kick off a process that could require more than one meeting, Ryall said.
The park under the water tower could well end up being named Water Tower Park, she said. “It could be, we’ve heard from a lot of people with that kind of a preference,” she said. “The other park underneath the Western Powerline is a little more open, it doesn’t have any particular possibilities.”
Thursday night will be a brainstorming session, with photos and drawings of both parks set up along with words that have some association with the area.
“For example, the name on the original subdivision plat near the power line was Creed, so we’ll have that,” Ryall said.
Longtime Gilbert resident Jerry McBee e-mailed town officials this summer with the idea of naming one of the downtown parks after former Mayor Wilburn Brown, who died of lung cancer in August.
“Even though I didn’t always agree with him, he was my neighbor and I had a lot of respect for him as an individual, a tremendous amount of respect,” McBee said.
McBee said he hadn’t gotten much response from Gilbert officials and had no notification of the Thursday meeting.
He said he wished that he’d seen more publicity about the session.
“Nobody knows about these meetings, and then they can do whatever they want,” he said.
Ryall said notices about the public meeting were sent to downtown residents and property owners. McBee does not live in the immediate downtown area.
Town Councilman Steve Urie said he’d rather see Brown’s name on a facility that had a more direct connection to the legacy of the town’s first elected mayor, who oversaw the creation of the Gilbert Fire Department in the 1990s.
“If I would look at naming anything for him, it would be the fire training academy that would eventually be built, something that in my mind would carry greater meaning than a park,” he said.
Urie said Thursday’s meeting will be similar to those held for naming three of the town’s newest parks — Discovery, Cosmo Dog Park and Zanjero — a process that has generally worked out well for the town.