Reuse of Government Land Sample Proposal
Repurpose Bayside Landfill into Bayside County Park
The Land Re-Use Committee has undertaken a study of surplus properties owned by Baldwin County and hereby submits its first proposal for repurposing a property. Our community wants to take advantage of new federal grants for infrastructure improvements, especially those to repurpose unused lands owned by local governments. We strongly believe the Bayside Landfill-to-Bayside County Park project is the best use of a grant at this time. Please see our reasoning and our plan in the enclosed pages, and let’s come to a resolution to make this happen ASAP.
Baldwin County Council Land Re-use Committee Jane Ireland, Randall Martin, Sally Nuñez, George Rivas, Rebecca Merra. The County Council of Baldwin County, Alabama, wants to take advantage of the federal programs currently available to improve our nation’s infrastructure. Our plan is described in the following pages. Specifically, we plan to take advantage of a new grant program to repurpose existing local government sites.
The site we plan to repurpose is the old Bayside Landfill, which was decommissioned in 1985 when our new inland landfill was opened. This site is perfect for our plan to develop a new waterfront park for the residents of Fairhope, the tourists, and the residents of Baldwin County to enjoy. This new park will include trails for hikers and bikers, a wildlife area, a playground and ball fields, a swim beach, and a boat launch facility. Our plan is described in the following pages.
The Bayside Landfill is a perfect site for our much-needed new park. The site is just outside the city boundaries of Fairhope, a town that is popular with tourists and growing in population every year.
The old landfill was closed in 1985 and is now fenced with a locked gate. The current fences and control gate will assist us in keeping the area safe during our construction process.
The county has construction businesses that can handle all the repurposing tasks, and this project will provide needed jobs for our community. In the event that we do not contract with a local company for any aspect, we will extend invitations to our neighboring cities and counties to bid on that aspect.
Fairhope and the surrounding areas of the county are growing in population every year. Although we attract a good number of retirees, they are mostly active retirees who have expressed a desire for more hiking and biking paths and for more public outdoor areas in general. Our population of young families is growing, too, and we need to provide safe places for kids to play and swim.
In addition, our county and seashore attracts many tourists, and these visitors will be thrilled to discover an attractive new park in the area.
Currently there is one primary access road to the gate at the landfill site. We plan to use and improve this road, and to also add a short access road on the east side to connect with Seagull Boulevard, a well-traveled road less than a half mile away from the eastern boundary of the landfill site.
Our current park system
The parks in our county, including those in Fairhope, are small and often overcrowded. The addition of this new, much larger park, with the ability to offer more active uses such as hiking and biking, will be much appreciated by residents and tourists alike.
After completion of the new park, we will include a description in all our tourism information, as well as on the Baldwin County and Fairhope city websites. This project is important to the community and requires its commitment and involvement.
The community consistently requests more public open space At Fairhope City Council meetings, PTA meetings, and Baldwin County Council meetings, the topic of increasing more recreational opportunities in our area often comes up, especially from our school board and many residents of Fairhope. We expect these requests to continue as our county grows. The community consistently requests more jobs in our area Another constant source of community input to both Fairhope City Council and Baldwin County Council is for local government to provide a welcoming environment for business and new jobs. The community will need to accept more noise and traffic during our construction phase During our construction phases, there will be increased traffic in the area as workers travel to and from our site.
In addition, residents of nearby neighborhoods will hear noise from heavy equipment and may also experience some windblown dust during the repurposing project.
This new park will double the public open space in our county The majority of the community will enthusiastically support the creation of a new park with expanses to explore and safe places for children to play. This new park will provide jobs during construction and afterward Like many small communities, job opportunities in our area have been hard to come by. The new jobs created by the park construction process will be welcomed.
In addition, after the project is complete, a few new permanent jobs will be created, such as groundskeepers, concession managers workers, lifeguards, park rangers, and security personnel. This park will be a new attraction for tourists Tourists enjoy the small parks we have now, but a new beach and hiking and biking trails should attract many more visitors to our area, which will improve our local economy. The majority of the community of Baldwin County should enthusiastically support the plan for a new park.
The following is a list of our site planning activities to be carried out during the course of the repurposing project. As the landfill site is already owned by the county, there will be no change of ownership or authority for this project.
Site Mapping and Soil Studies Start Date. March 1, 20xx We know the boundaries of the old landfill site, but we need to have exact measurements of elevations within the site. Although the landfill was closed in 1985, there are standing pipes to vent methane from layers below the surface, and we need to analyze whether some vent pipes need to remain in place and how to protect the public from any risks the pipes and contaminated surface soil may pose. Initial inspection of pipes revealed almost no methane exiting the site, and initial analysis of surface soils indicates that a cap of clean soil should safely protect from any contaminates below, but a more thorough study is needed.
Responsible Party. Baldwin County Council.
Site Assessment and Proposed Plan Start Date. April 20, 20xx With the studies and measurements described above, we will know whether or not we can remove vent pipes, and we can plan for the volume of clean dirt to import to cap contaminated soils. A proposed plan will be drawn up by the County Council in consultation with architects, and will then be presented to the public for comment.
Responsible Party. Baldwin County Council and hired architects.
Site Cleanup and Public Comment Start Date. May 23, 20xx Any site cleanup needed will commence, concurrent with public meetings where our initial plans are presented for comment and revisions. Responsible Party. Baldwin County Council and hired construction companies.
Construction of new park Start Date. June 15, 20xx Clean dirt will be imported and reshaping of the park will begin. After all elevations have been reconfigured to meet the specifications on the blueprint, planting of trees and sod will commence, as well as final construction of new roads, parking lots, and boat launch, and finally, buildings for restrooms and concessions.
A detailed construction schedule will be posted by June 15, 20xx. As we plan to use pre-fabricated buildings and most construction only involves landscaping, we expect the construction phase to last only 4-5 months. Responsible Party. Baldwin County Council and contracted companies.
Many local companies have already expressed an interest in construction work on the new park. The bidding process will begin on June 1 when blueprints are finalized. The current landfill site has no facilities for public usage, and a temporary restroom that used to be in place for landscape workers was removed when the site was closed in 1985. The only structures there now are standpipes for methane and fencing around the perimeter of the property.
The new park will contain the following facilities. Playground and ball fields The new playground will contain slides, swing sets, and jungle-gym equipment for children, as well as a baseball field and a soccer field. Beach and boat launch The beach that currently borders the landfill site will be left relatively unchanged, but will be enhanced by a new boat launch area, parking lot, restrooms, and picnic area. Picnic areas We plan two picnic areas, one close to the playground and ball fields, and one close to the beach and boat ramp area.
Restrooms and concession building Two sets of restrooms will be built at the edges of the picnic areas and ball fields. The restrooms close to the beach will also house changing rooms and exterior shower areas for rinsing off sand. The concession building will be constructed in a central location between the beach and the ball fields.
Hiking biking trails and wildlife area Miles of graveled hiking biking trails will be provided throughout the park, some through the open spaces, and some through the area to the east side of park, which will be left in its current wooded condition to provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. The Baldwin County Council plans to offer local businesses and community organizations the opportunity to donate benches, drinking fountains, bike racks, and other amenities in exchange for advertising their organizations on bronze plaques on those donated amenities. Leases for the concessions, which are expected to include snacks, kites, and swim beach toys, will be announced at a later date and awarded in a competitive bidding process. We expect that the repurposing of the Bayside Landfill site into the new Bayside County Park will be the first of many projects funded by federal grants for repurposing surplus local government properties.
We hope that federal funding will continue for years to come, as we have a few projects under consideration in our county. Old South Elementary School into Art Center or Low-Income Housing After the new Adams Elementary School was completed in 20xx, the school board decide to abandon the Old South Elementary School building because it was not cost-effective to bring up to new school standards. However, if we can secure a federal grant for repurposing, we would like to convert the building into an arts center or a low-income housing facility.
Smith Creek Drainage Ditch into New Skate Park The old cement-lined ditch constructed in the 1930s to contain seasonal Smith Creek for flood control was abandoned when the canal was naturalized in 20xx. The cement-lined ditch has become a target for unsightly graffiti and trash, but it would make the perfect basis for a skate park for our young skateboarders. Abandoned Military Barracks into Youth Camp The old Garrett Camp military barracks and parade grounds, built in the 1940s, have long been abandoned and have become the target of vandals. We would like to refurbish the buildings and grounds and create a venue that can be rented out for summer camps and other groups who want facilities for retreats.
We plan for our Bayside landfill-to-park repurposing project to be a shining example of how we can use surplus properties, and hope that its success will win us more grants to accomplish the projects mentioned above. Key project dates are outlined below. Dates are "best guess" estimates and are subject to change before being locked in by a binding contract.
- Project Start – Site mapping soil studies
- Milestone 1 – Proposed plan developed
- Milestone 2 – Site Cleanup done public comments accepted final plan in place
- Milestone 3 – Import cap dirt landscape reshaping
- Milestone 4 – Construction of roads parking lots buildings
- Milestone 5 - Placement of benches bike racks drinking fountains, other donated amenities, final touches
- Milestone 6 – Bidding Awards of concessions leases, advertising marketing efforts
- Project end – Park opens to public
We expect to receive a $750,000 federal grant for our repurposing plan, but the project is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, so we must come up with $250,000. Here is our strategy. Immediately add a 5% tax to hotels and car rentals Fairhope is a tourist destination, so this will affect primarily those from outside our community, and is expected to raise approximately $125,000 per year.
Charge for use of boat ramp The boat ramp is expected to be very popular, and at $10 per usage, should generate at least $1500 per month. Lease concession areas We anticipate at least $3000 per month from concession leases in the building we will construct. If vendors want to bring their own booths to sell merchandise, they can purchase additional leases for $100 per day.
Rent ball fields Other soccer and baseball fields in our area are reserved on a paid basis. We will use the same calendar and payment process as they do, charging $100 per game. Bridge the funding gap with a short-term loan Some monies will arrive only after the park is complete, so we will bridge the gap with a two-year loan.
The new Bayside park should pay for itself within two years, and as we have no plans to repeal the hotel rental car tax at that time, that tax and other funds will accumulate as operating funds for the Parks Department. The Land Re-Use Committee is made up of five County Council members. Jane Ireland, Randall Martin, Sally Nunez, George Rivas, and Rebecca Merra.
This committee was formed in January of 20xx to study how county-owned properties might be repurposed to benefit county residents, and then submit their recommendations to the council. Of the properties we studied, the Bayside Landfill is the largest in acreage as well as the least expensive to repurpose. This project also filled a number of needs for our community, so we elected to recommend it first. See the Repurposing page for other properties under consideration for the future.
For questions and concerns about this proposal, please contact your Baldwin County Council members.