Fraser moving forward on Lions Ponds improvements
FRASER — Fraser is hoping to build on its progress in implementing the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan by continuing to upgrade the area around the Lions Ponds this year.
The Fraser Board of Trustees received an update on the design plans for the Cozens Ranch Open Space, located on the east side of Highway 40, during their regular meeting on Wednesday night.
Jeff Durbin, Fraser town manager, said the goal is to encourage more people to take advantage of the Lions Ponds space.
“The focus of this work is what are we doing around the Lions Ponds to really activate that space because that’s where it’s going to take a lot of work and that’s where most of the dollars that we talk about in the plan land,” Durbin said.
Plans for this year include planting more trees in the area, moving large rocks closer to the pond for natural seating, moving the existing “Ike” sculpture to a new location and moving a sno-cat to the entrance of the area on the Highway 40 frontage road.
Fraser is also hoping to build a natural earth embankment for the future outdoor classroom next to Lions Pond and, if funding allows, installing the necessary utilities for the proposed public restroom.
“What we’re working on in the moment is engineering, how do we get sewer service over to (the restrooms), a water line, what that route would look like, feasibility and cost,” Durbin said.
The approved budget for this year’s work is $250,000 and the town expects the work to start and finish this summer.
Other ideas for the Lions Pond area include natural play areas, an outdoor classroom, restrooms and shade structures, as well as expansions of the trail system and increased access to the Fraser River.
Durbin explained that the work planned for this year will put the town in a good position when applying for grants to do some of the larger projects, such as building public restrooms.
The estimated cost of a public restroom with four stalls and a storage space is over $256,000, not including utilities.
“The goal is submitting a big fat grant application this fall (…) towards a large project next summer,” he said.
The Fraser River Corridor Master Plan ultimately outlines $6.5 million in work to the Cozens Ranch Open Space.
Last year, Fraser kicked off the master plan with a pilot project to reconstruct the trails and plant trees in the Lions Pond area.
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