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Sebastian parks-rec group considering land options for future expansion

SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian Parks and Recreation Committee is considering its options for future parks and expansion of existing ones.

The members plan to hear from sports groups in the city about their expected future needs are, as well as consider asking the Sebastian City Council to set aside some funds for future land buys.  

“We are going to keep growing,” Parks and Recreation Chair Joanne White said.

Instead of the committee sending letters to owners of vacant, viable property, City Manager Al Minner encouraged the group to come up with a proposal of what would be needed, where it would be located and make the pitch to the Sebastian City Council.

“The city does need to start talking about land purchasing,” Minner agreed.

He also suggested that the city explore possible partnerships with Indian River County – working on joint ventures that would enhance sporting opportunities near Sebastian, such as the North County Regional Park.

Committee members Jay Van Arsdall and Jo Ann Webster raised concerns about the need for more ball fields in the city. They represent youth football and youth baseball, respectively.

Minner said he has heard concerns from representatives of youth soccer that they do not have room in the city for their needs.

The members agreed that they need to hear from the soccer representatives and find a way to accommodate everyone.

“We need the input,” White said.

Members also suggested working with the Indian River County School District to utilize Sebastian schools’ ball fields, which would provide venues without the city having to build anew.

Also discussed at the meeting Monday evening was the naming of a small park at the intersection of Periwinkle Drive and Seashore Avenue, which has a large stormwater retention pond.

A nearby resident emailed White and suggested “Serenity Park” for the as-of-yet-unnamed park.

“I think it’s a great name,” member John Tenerowicz said.

The committee agreed and the name will be recommended to the Sebastian City Council for approval.

A sign declaring the name (if approved) would come sometime later, though.

Administrative Supervisor Linda Kinchen told the committee that a park sign would run about $1,000.

White said the city could name the park but not put up a sign right away.

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