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Tomlinson Park upgrades proposed

Gulfport will consider restoring Tomlinson Lake and increasing the park's recreational use.

By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 3, 2000


GULFPORT -- Upgraded recreational opportunities and amenities, increased security and an emphasis on usefulness highlight Gulfport's redesigned plan for a new and improved Tomlinson Park.

The Gulfport City Council gave its unanimous go-ahead Tuesday for the administration to seek formal approval for its proposed redevelopment plan at a regular meeting within the next month.

If approved by the council, more than $500,000 will be spent this year and another $200,000 next fall to complete restoration of Tomlinson Lake and park upgrades.

The cost of park improvements will be paid through several grants and Penny for Pinellas funds.

"This is an excellent proposal. To build a park that meets the demands of today is what this is all about," said Mayor Michael Yakes.

"The compatibility of all recreation uses is very important."

Major features of the upgraded park include two ball fields available for residents whenever not in use by Little League or other organized teams, conversion of the existing tennis court and adjacent area to a skateboard park and roller hockey court, a boardwalk along the eastern edge of the lake, a fountain and duck pond in the center of the lake, and lake plantings that will clean the water before discharge into Tampa Bay.

Among changes proposed Tuesday by City Manger Bob Lee and Public Services Director Paul Williams were realigning adjacent roadways to expand the lake and greenspace, 30 new cypress trees, improved drainage, relocation of a Tot Lot farther from the lake, additional trash containers, multiple model boat ramps, enhanced decorative lighting along the park perimeter and security lighting in the park's interior.

Currently, the park contains a large baseball field used by the Little League, a smaller field used for T-ball, a tennis court and a skate hockey court.

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