The Woodward News

Local News

October 10, 2012

Final touches being put on train depot

Woodward, Okla. — With the train depot nearing completion at Crystal Beach Park, it appears the Kiwanis Train could be back up and running soon.

"We expect the train will be running during Crystal Christmas," City Manager Alan Riffel said following a meeting the Woodward Parks and Beautification Board on Tuesday.

The parks board was given an update on progress of the train depot during the meeting.

Mike Lowden, director of public facilities, said the depot is "all but done."

"Hopefully within a week all the final touches will be done.  And when that's complete, we will set the train on the tracks," Lowden said.

In addition to the train depot update, the parks board members also received an update on the softball complex.

Riffel said that the complex is now "in the final design phase," with bids to go out in the next 45 to 60 days.

"We're looking at a late November, early December bid," he said.

The facility will then be constructed over the winter and early spring, with time provided over the summer for the new turf to grow in, he said.

"Our target is by the next fall softball season to be playing on the new fields," Riffel said.

While the new softball complex is being designed as a 5-field facility, the city manager told The News that "it depends on the bids we receive if all that can be accomplished at this time."

Riffel said the city currently has around $1.7 million in remaining funds from the original $25 million that was allotted for the Crystal Beach Park improvements.

If the bids for the complete 5-field softball facility exceeds that $1.7 million, then "we might have to finish it in phases," Riffel said.

For example, he said if the $1.7 million could only cover the costs of 3 of the 5 fields, then those 3 fields would be built with space left for the remaining 2 fields.

Under new business, Riffel and Lowden gave the parks board an update on the pond cleaning at Rotary Park.  Riffel said that around 100 fish, mostly goldfish, had been removed from the pond before it was drained for the cleaning.

He noted that the "overpopulation" of fish was one reason that the Oklahoma Department of Fisheries deemed it was necessary to clean out the pond.

Lowden also discussed the murkiness of the pond due to a lot of sediment build-up.  However, he said there are plans to place rocks around the edge of the pond to help with the sediment issue, so that hopefully the pond will stay clearer for longer.

Lowden also said the public "will see a big difference in the light and fountain when we're finished."

He noted that calcification had blocked some of the spouts on the fountain, so once it is cleaned, the spray should be better.  The lights will also be raised so that they will shine a little brighter on the fountain, he said.

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