Union aldermen Monday gave the final nod to name the proposed east park and sports complex Veterans Memorial Park.
The board unanimously approved the name in a special board meeting.
The city’s east park development committee recommended last week that aldermen agree to the Veterans Memorial Park name. The name came at the request of local attorney Mark Vincent, who also requested an area at the front entrance of the proposed park for a memorial.
City Administrator Russell Rost explained that some proponents of the park requested a name to better market the sports complex before voters decide on a park sales tax in June.
“They felt that if they had a name for the park, they could put it (the name) on (political) material,” he said.
The tax initiative will appear on the ballot as “Proposition Park” and will include a new one-half cent sales tax for the park. The tax would be reduced to a one-quarter cent sales tax after the bonds sold to fund the project mature, or after 20 years.
In April 2011, a proposed sales tax failed that would have funded the park and Union Parks and Recreation Department operations. The measure lost by 88 votes.
Residents will vote on Proposition Park June 5. There will be one polling place, Union Municipal Auditorium, for all wards.
The city purchased 43.8 acres of land earmarked for a park off Progress Parkway south of Highway 50.
Planners have maintained the “balance” of active and passive recreation area, including a “loop trail” intertwined with smaller trails.
Marshlands and water sources would be utilized as a conservation area, or “passive” park. There also will be picnic areas and shelters.
There also would be playgrounds, a maintenance shed, lakes or ponds, pavilions and other amenities.
Plans call for two soccer fields, a football field, and a large tournament baseball/softball field and four smaller fields.
Some Union residents and youth sports heads expressed some concerns last week when updated plans were presented for the park to the east park development committee.
Liz Wilmesher, who lives outside of the city just north of the park, questioned the location of a portion of a “loop trail” around sports fields and other amenities at the facility.
“I would like to hear a discussion on liability and fencing,” said Wilmesher.
Dave Wilmesher asked what hours the park would be used and if the park would be gated during evening hours.
Rost noted that there would games in the evening, including games played similar to the schedule that youth sports leagues now use.
“It will be lighted and there will be some night activities,” he said.
“I doubt it will be gated because we want the police to be able to get in there as well,” Rost added.