Vireo Landscape Architect Steve Rhoades shows a concept of the new Cameron City Park approved by voters last summer.

New Cameron city park unveiled

With funds for the construction of a portion of the new Cameron City Park, the park board received a sneak peek of the park set to open Memorial Day of 2022.

Vireo Landscape Architect Steve Rhoades unveiled the first concept of the new Cameron City Park and provided details on a host of first-phase amenities during a special committee meeting Tuesday night.

“This is what voters approved and we haven’t changed much,” said Rhoades while presenting the first concept during the January Cameron Park Board meeting. “... We can’t go to the buffet on an empty stomach and we had to make some hard decisions. Our architect has worked on a layout for a restroom and concession facility. I’ll be honest with you right now; their numbers are twice as much as we can afford to do right off the bat.”

Last June, voters approved a 1/2-cent sales tax funding the new aquatic center and city park with Cameron Public Works Director Bontrager estimating it would generate $640,000 per year, totaling $16 million by the time it sunsets in 2045. Last week, the Cameron City Council finalized an $8.2 million spending package with $7 million set aside for construction of the park and the new Cameron Aquatic Center in the hopes of opening both Memorial Day of 2022. 

“We’re proposing coming in right off of Northland Drive and gives you more opportunities for future development,” Rhoades said. “The plan we’re showing you is everything we talked about - three baseball fields and two soccer fields ... We’re grading an amphitheater with a concrete pad, a sidewalk at the top and a row of trees where you can set up vender tents and we hope to get a shelter at the top.”

Although in the works for years, pursuit of the park gained traction in 2019 after the Cameron City Council approved selling the current baseball/softball complex used by area little league teams to the Cameron R-1 School District. The park plan indicates it will replace the fields lost in the sale with room to add a soccer field in the northern section of the park or an additional multi-sport practice field or in the empty space of the originally proposed clover-leaf styled baseball/softball complex. 

Future plans may also include a destination playground and splash pad, but Rhodes said at this time they may be cost prohibitive to include in the first phase with modest-sized playground equipment potentially costing $500,000 and installation of splash pads costing just as much.

“There are going to have to be some hard decisions that have to be made pretty soon as in terms of what we can fit, and the level quality of these features can afford to be,” Rhoades said. “We’re working through that a little bit with our estimators and dial in these costs a little better. We look to have a better picture for you next month when we come back.”

 

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