City Renaissance Changes ‘Dynamics’

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The City of Riverside works vigorously to complete a project to remodel the city that will take five years.

Through a $1.57 billion investment, Riverside officials hope to finish the remodeling project, labeled the Riverside Renaissance. If completed, this project will have accomplished more construction in Riverside in only five years than in the past 30 years.

There is a focus on improving police, parks, libraries and various other community facilities that allow people to change their lifestyles and become motivated with new activities.

Some parks were completely renovated and improved to suit the interests of local residents and community members. With the new designs of the parks, the City of Riverside won awards of excellence, satisfying the community.

If community members want something to change, they can go to city council meetings where they can express their need. This was the case with the renovation of the Bobby Bonds Park, a $537,000 investment. It is now labeled “Bobby Bonds Skate park” and located on University Avenue.

The unused tennis courts were converted into an above ground skate park, after local skate boarders brought up the concern to the Riverside City Council and then continued the pro- cess until it was built.

Just recently, the same thing occurred as local BMX riders brought up the idea to the city council. BMX riders were inspired to pursue their dream of one day creating a BMX park.

However, BMX riders have not taken into consideration the liabilities that the City of Riverside will have to take on if this park is built. This project would use funds that are needed for other projects.

“What we would be required to do is provide staff that are there and those kids would have to provide a signed liability waiver, indicating that parents would waive the rights in the events that something happens while they are riding their bikes,” Ralph Nuñez said.

Nuñez is the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department Director in Riverside.

The risk that the city of Riverside is willing to take on is yet to be determined.

“This was just about a month ago so we are just at the very beginning of that process,” Nuñez said.

Riverside granted a total of $70 million dollars for the renovations of the parks. If the BMX park was to be constructed, it would have to enter a bid in which local construction companies vote whether they would like to have the responsibility of building the park or not.

“All the big projects that we do go through a public bid process, everything over $50,000 would be publicly bid,” Randy McDaniel, division project manager, said.