LETTER: Aurora mayor clarifies parking lot expansion plans

Published:

I want to correct misinformation being circulated regarding a proposal to expand parking at Kiwanis-Moore Playground. The project would do the following:

• Provide more parking where Field 3 is, with landscaping and buffering between that and the picnic area, playground and ballfields.

• Add a path from the parking area, going between the ballfields and businesses, for connectivity and easier access.

• Enhance Field 4 with dugouts and fencing for T-ball and other uses.

This project is intended to enhance what Aurora has, add connectivity and promote activity in Town Center. The parking lot cost would be about $70,000; the Field 4 enhancements would be $15,000 (using some of the material from the ABL's contribution for Field 3); the city would do the walkway and landscaping.

The following additional facts are important:

• The park and picnic area will remain, and additional landscaping and buffering are planned.

• Field 4, next to Field 3, is being completed and will provide 14 fields which meet Aurora's usage needs based on parks-recreation numbers.

• This project is consistent with the master plan, which has suggested for some time enhancing Town Center with connectivity and addressing limited off-street parking.

• It's in Aurora residents' best interests to maintain a strong commercial base, which provides about 80 percent of the city's income tax revenue, the vast majority of Aurora's budget. To encourage successful businesses in Town Center, the city cannot continue to rely on private parking agreements.

• No person or business has specifically requested this project.

I, too, love the small-town feel of Aurora and appreciate the need to balance that with enhancing our recreational opportunities as well as our commercial base so that Aurora citizens can continue receiving excellent services without increasing taxes.

Ann Womer Benjamin,

Mayor of Aurora

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