PAHOKEE -- Jennifer Cirillo, assistant director of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation, shared some good news for soccer players at the Feb. 22 Pahokee City Commission meeting.
Cirillo said Pahokee residents have expressed their desires for more soccer fields than softball fields, areas to practice track and picnic pavilions instead of racquetball courts.
“We do have some plans in place, some funding in place with more to come,” she said.
“Pahokee High School softball program uses one of our fields at Duncan-Padgett Park,” she said. For the other field, the county has obtained some donated soccer goals and some donated soccer nets.
“We’ve got three county parks in the Pahokee area – Duncan-Padgett Park, Canal Park and Triangle Park, ” said Palm Beach County Director of Park Planning Bob Hamilton. He said projects planned in the three parks total about $2.29 million.
Duncan Padgett Park has a picnic pavilion project which will include the demolition of the old racquetball courts. One of the softball fields will be converted into a multipurpose field.
“A lot of my new development funding comes from impact fees,” Hamilton said. The Glades region of the county does not generate much in impact fees, he continued. To fund projects in western Palm Beach County, they rely on federal and grant funding.
He said the county will apply for a $750,000 grant to convert one softball field at Duncan-Padgett Park into a multipurpose field. If the design allows it, they may also put in a small track as well.
A restroom replacement project is also planned at Duncan-Padgett Park.
Two projects are planned for the Canal Point Park: Outdoor restroom replacement and the community center restoration. The community center restoration will cost around $500,000.
A restroom replacement project is also planned at Triangle Park.
Hamilton said Pahokee residents have also asked for a dog park.
“Our major wish list would be a pool for our community,” said Mayor Keith Babb.
Cirillo said they will keep the request for a swimming pool in mind. In addition to the construction cost, public pools require continual funding for operations, she explained. She said the Drowning Prevention Coalition has vouchers for Glades residents for free swim lessons for youth and adults at Pioneer Park Aquatic Center in Belle Glade.
Pahokee Vice Mayor Regina Bohlen suggested the city provide a letter of support for the grant application for the funding for the multipurpose field.