What to do with Veterans Park in Florence? City is conducting survey

FLORENCE, Ala. – It’s a city park in Florence which has fallen into disrepair. City leaders didn’t want to spend any money on Veterans Park because of the chance of building an attraction there.

More than ten years ago this “Campground Closed” sign went up. Camping was shifted to McFarland Park in anticipation of clearing the property.

When the Retirement Systems of Alabama project came to the Shoals, the park was to get an attraction to draw in visitors. With the attraction at the park now cancelled, the city has an opportunity to start over.

Mayor Steve Holt, Florence

“Veterans Park, it is being looked at as this is our family park, this is where we go for everything,” Mayor Steve Holt said. “Picnics, walking and everything. So, I think those things have come to the top.”

Mayor Holt and the city council have held two meetings in recent weeks to listen to the public. Since the park belongs to the citizens, what do they want?

“The amphitheater was mentioned many times, the walking trails; access to the water with some kind of a pier where boats can come in and tie up,” stated Holt.

So far they have gotten numerous ideas.

But the underlying question remains, with budgets already tight, how are they going to pay for them? Holt said either by a small lodging tax increase or do the projects a little at a time.

“It may not happen in five months or ten months, but over the period of a couple of years we may get it all done,” Holt explained.

To help come up with a solid plan for the redevelopment of Veterans Park, city leaders have put a survey on all of their Facebook pages and website.

City leaders say they will also have copies of the survey at each recreation center in the city for pick up and drop-off. The information will be compiled and given to the city council for consideration and planning.