Well, at least you can't accuse park Superintendent Jayne Miller of playing favorites with the park where she lives.
Her proposed capital budget for 2017 recommends that the long-delayed Lyndale Farmstead recreation center repairs be postponed yet another year. That's the park that includes the superintendent's house.
That would be the fourth postponement of the project.
The park building needs were first addressed in the five-year capital program presented in 2010, with Farmstead scheduled for work in 2013. The project was moved to 2015 a year later, and starting with the 2015 budget, it's been delayed twice more, making her 2017 recommendation a potential fourth delay.
After some strong pushback from area Commissioner Brad Bourn, Miller said she'd take another look through her proposed budget to see if the project could be salvaged for 2017.
"It is a very high priority in our neighborhood," said Melissa Gould, president of the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association.
The needs of the building don't differ much from other park buildings built some 40 years ago. The 1997 building needs a new roof, acessibility improvements, air conditioning and other work. The list of accessibility imprrvements is part of a system-wide evaluation. It found multiple needs ranging from doors that require too much force to open to soap dispensers that need to be lowered. The neighborhood association was advised by City Hall to shift its meetings to the more accessible Walker Methodist senior complex, according to board member Brian Nalezny. But the Park Board still sponsors open houses on park projects in the building.
Like other buildings around the system, the Farmstead project has been delayed over the years because the Park Board was short on repair and rehabilitation money. But that was supposed to be eased with the approval last spring of a deal between the Park Board and City Hall that is intended to infuse money to repair or renovate deteriorating buildings and fields across the park system over the next 20 years.
But under the equity-based criteria that help which parks get attention first, parks in better-off areas of the city fall well down the scheduling list. Lyndale Farmstead rated 73rd on a list of 106 neighborhood parks for that money. Under Miller's proposal for a one-year delay, it would rise up the list to where that money could be tapped.
Another reason that the project is proposed to be delayed is that there were cost overruns at nearby Bryant Square park, where complications resulting from the rebuilding of the wading pool cost more than expected and bids were high due to timing.
According to Miller, past protocol is for for cost overruns in a commissioner district to be handled by adjustments in the same district.