Parks department hopes to get FEMA help with Town Square repairs

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 21:41
  • A portion of Town Square Park in Eagle River has been closed to the public until repairs can be made to the brick skating area and pavillion at the park. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • A portion of Town Square Park in Eagle River has been closed to the public until repairs can be made to the brick skating area and pavillion at the park. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Municipal officials are hoping to receive federal assistance repairing Eagle River’s Town Square Park.

“We discovered after the earthquake we’ve got some uneven conditions there, so what we’re trying to do is we’re working with FEMA to see if we can get that area repaired,” said Eagle River/Chugiak Parks and Recreation director John Rodda.

The park’s small skating rink and pavilion area have been closed to the public due to the uneven nature of the brick pavers that cover the ground. Rodda said the area is now a liability for the department.

“It’s more an issue of pedestrian safety,” he said.

He doesn’t yet know the cost, but Rodda said the municipality is working with an engineer to come up with a plan to re-pave the area, which was first established three decades ago by the local Rotary Club. Rodda said he even helped lay some of the red pavers himself.

“There were probably 18 or 20 of us that literally dug it out,” he said.

Over the years the pavers have deteriorated, and Rodds said the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake has only exacerbated the issue.

“Some of the bricks have moved,” he said.

Rodds said the area will be closed until it’s repaired.

After having several discussions with the federal agency, Rodda said he’s hopeful FEMA can help fund the project. If not, he said the parks department will have to foot the bill itself. Either way, he’s hopeful the area can be reopened by Bear Paw, which this year will be held July 10-14.

“One way or another we want to get it done,” he said.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274.

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