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Commissioners Updated on Parks & Baseball
The Board of County Commissioners met March 22 and got an update from staff on the status of three urban parks and the baseball stadium.

The Board of County Commissioners met Tuesday, March 22 and heard from staff on the status of three urban park projects and the proposed Triple A baseball stadium in Third Ward.

Completion of the parks has been held up due to the recession and the Board's adoption of a debt diet two years ago. Staff presented a plan Tuesday to get the Romare Bearden Park in Third Ward back on track. The Board has previously approved he concept of the park and voters approved bonds to construct it in 2004. However, the County hasn't sold those bonds so funding isn't available. Staff suggested the benefit of putting that project back on track for this year's 100th anniversary of the birth of the Charlotte artist Romare Bearden. The Board instructed staff to prepare additional details and present them to the April 5 meeting of the Board's Natural Resources Committee. The full Board may also consider the matter at its April 5 evening meeting.

In addition to the Third Ward Park, the County also has plans for urban parks in 1st Ward and 2nd Ward. Those also are stalled.

Another favorable court decision recently would allow construction of a Triple A baseball stadium not too far from Bank of America Stadium, home of the Panthers. This project has been delayed not just by court challenges but also the recession. The Charlotte Knights say sponsors they previously had lined up may or may not be interested in the project at this point and financing would look different, more expensive, than when first planned. The cost of the stadium also has gone up. The Knight now saying they could build a $30 million stadium but fans may not like it. They say a more realistic figure is $54 million. The Knights have a September 2011 deadline with the County to have the project substantially completed. They won't make that deadline but will be coming back to the Board this summer to propose a new timeline if they can secure favorable financing.

Background documents for all four projects.

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