breaking news

Employer IDs man killed in 2nd Brightline accident in 5 days

NEW: Two major Wellington parks projects in works with sales tax money

The additional penny Palm Beach County residents have ponied up in sales tax since the beginning of the year could provide Wellington millions of dollars for two major parks projects.

The village’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board – which serves as an independent oversight committee to review how Wellington spends its share of the sales surtax approved by voters last year – earlier this month approved plans to renovate Community Park and build new multi-use fields near the dog park off Greenbriar Boulevard.

WELLINGTON READERS: Sign up for The Post’s weekly newsletter for Wellington news

The projects now must be designed and then approved by the village council.

As part of the changes, Community Park would be renamed South Shore Park. The money for that project is included in this year’s budget: nearly $5.2 million, including $2.6 million carried over from last year, according to village documents.

According to preliminary plans, the former building that housed the local Boys and Girls Club at Community Park would be demolished. A new gymnasium would be built as part of the project’s second phase, Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said. The existing baseball and softball fields would be renovated, with their layout changed slightly to allow for more parking.

RELATED: Why Wellington Amphitheater’s popularity is booming at all-time high

After the Boys and Girls Club moved to its larger, updated home off Wellington Trace, the building that now is the centerpiece of Community Park sat vacant for months before the village began using it for storage.

“The building itself was not really in any shape for it to be used for program space for us,” Barnes said. Eventually, the village began storing some maintenance equipment there, and part of the building also now is used to store paper records. Parkgoers still use the building’s restroom facilities – the only part that remains open to the public.

A handful of people were scattered across the park on a recent night, with two people playing basketball, a family on the playground and a few people practicing hitting and pitching. The basketball courts and playground would be removed, preliminary plans show.

The park’s primary use is for practice for the village’s baseball teams, Barnes said. Games are played either at Village or Olympia parks. Barnes noted that while work is being done the park, practices may be moved elsewhere, or Wellington may need to modify its season.

“We’re cognizant of that and we’re going to address that,” he said.

RELATED: Operation Wild Stallion in Wellington: Fake ID crackdown, more education called for

At Greenbriar Park, the popular dog park and sand volleyball court will remain, Barnes said. But the former site of the village’s tree farm will be transformed, with new multi-purpose fields for everything from soccer and football to sports that have grown in popularity over the past few years in Wellington: rugby and lacrosse.

Though the village’s Parks and Recreation Department has dozens of fields, those spaces often are occupied by Wellington’s club and league sports, making it tough to find stretches where routine maintenance can be performed.

“It’s been increasingly difficult to get the downtime on those fields because of the demand,” Barnes said.

Preliminary plans show four multi-use fields to the east of the dog park, with two stormwater areas, additional parking and a facility with restrooms and concessions.

The Greenbriar Park work is estimated to cost about $4 million that will be spread over “multiple budget years,” according to village documents.

As of Sept. 30, Wellington has collected about $2.7 million in sales surtax money, according to village documents. That amount is somewhat lower than the estimated $3.5 million a year officials were expecting: They estimated the village would get a total $32 million to $38 million overall, choosing the median $35 million on which to base their income estimates. Over the 10-year lifespan of the surtax, that works out to about $3.5 million.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

BREAKING: Employer IDs man killed in 2nd Brightline accident in 5 days
BREAKING: Employer IDs man killed in 2nd Brightline accident in 5 days

A Brightline train struck and killed a bicyclist on Wednesday afternoon, marking the second fatal accident involving the highly-anticipated passenger service in less than a week — both in Boynton Beach. In the hours after Wednesday’s accident, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, called on federal transportation officials to investigate the deaths...
PBC school board reassigns students of soon-to-close Odyssey Middle

The Palm Beach County School Board gave final approval Wednesday to a plan to reassign 1,900 Odyssey Middle students to new schools when the school closes this summer. The reassignment plan for the closing Boynton Beach school was approved unanimously without debate, the final procedural step in what will be the first closure of a traditional county...
Lake Worth man convicted of manslaughter in 2015 stabbing death
Lake Worth man convicted of manslaughter in 2015 stabbing death

A 26-year-old Lake Worth man faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced next month in the stabbing death of a man he said he killed in self-defense. Jurors on Friday ended Deivis Costa’s second degree murder trial by convicting him of a lesser manslaughter charge in connection with his Sept. 5, 2015 deadly altercation with 25-year-old...
PBSO pays $325K to settle suit over fatal shooting of Belle Glade man
PBSO pays $325K to settle suit over fatal shooting of Belle Glade man

Two years after a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a 19-year-old Belle Glade man six seconds after stopping him for driving without a seat-belt, the agency has agreed to pay $325,000 to the teen’s family to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The settlement with the family of Henry Bennett III is the latest one in a string of...
Ann Curry speaks out about Matt Lauer sexual harassment allegations in new interview
Ann Curry speaks out about Matt Lauer sexual harassment allegations in new interview

Ann Curry has remained tight-lipped since the news broke of Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct, but she spoke about the scandal on “CBS This Morning.” The 61-year-old journalist and producer appeared on the program Wednesday to discuss her new PBS docuseries “We’ll Meet Again” and she was asked to speak...
More Stories