Lola Harris called attention to the deteriorating state of Washburn Park at the Burney Water Board at their regular monthly meeting on July 2o at the Burney Water Board Building in Burney. The grass needs mowing and watering, the sprinkler system and other infrastructure need to be fixed.
Ms. Harris said that certain parts of the park where the grass is overgrown are becoming a “fire hazard.”
Board members Jim Hamlin, Britta Rogers, and Fred Ryness and District Manager Willie Rodriguez discussed the issue for over and hour.
The Burney Water District owns Washburn Park on Park Avenue and Civic Park on Hwy 299. Civic Park is also called Lions Park. The Burney Lions have been maintaining Lions Park. The Water Board has an agreement with the Little League for them to use and maintain Washburn Park.
Washburn Park has been a popular site for Little League games and softball tournaments, but in the past few years has been little used and has fallen into disrepair. If a solution is not found the park may have to be closed.
The board took no action because they want broader community feedback to determine the level of community support for the parks and to see how the Burney Community at large would like to address the problem. Rodriguez said that he would do an assessment of how much work was needed and what the estimated cost would be.
Rodriguez said that he would talk with Jen Luck, Office Manager at the Burney Chamber of Commerce to discuss the possibility of holding a community meeting at the Veterans Hall to determine the future of the parks in Burney.
There is one other park in Burney, Bailey Park that is owned by Tri Counties Network. The purpose of a community meeting on parks would be to discuss the future use, improvement, and regular maintenance of all three parks.
Burney Water District also owns and operates the Raymond H. Berry Community Pool which is well managed and financially viable. Lola Harris who is a member of Friends of the Pool, said that she would not be in favor of a Parks and Recreation District that would include the pool because that might threaten the financial viability of the pool. .