DENHAM SPRINGS — Debate over allowing bicycles in Willow Wood Park was tabled indefinitely Tuesday night to give city officials time to seek funding for upgrades to the park’s walking trails.
Councilman Robert Poole, who lives in the neighborhood and brought the issue to the council, said before the meeting that the city is pursuing both public and private funding options to convert the existing concrete walking path for bicycle use and build a more jogging-friendly track beside it.
Poole said he also is seeking input from residents both in and around the subdivision about possibly limiting bicycle access in the 11-acre park to certain hours, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In asking for the item to be removed indefinitely from the agenda Tuesday night, Poole said he didn’t want to keep tabling the issue every two weeks while officials work to iron out the details.
Mayor Gerard Landry encouraged residents to contact Poole and make their wishes for alternative plans known. “We’re not looking to dictate anything,” Landry said.
Robert Smiley, who lives in the neighborhood, said that when the park was created, residents overwhelmingly supported restricting the paths to walkers only.
“I don’t care what you add in the future, but please keep the walking paths for walkers,” he said.
In other business, the council voted to keep the city’s property tax rate at 3.725 mills for another year. The tax is projected to garner $319,046 in revenue for the city for 2015, up only $2 from 2014, according to the parish Assessor’s Office.
The council also set for public hearing June 22 a pair of ordinances to adopt the city’s amended budget for fiscal year 2015 and a proposed budget for 2016.
The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the courtroom of the municipal building.
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