The city is using money from the Molalla Buckeroo Bohlander Field parking fund to pay for a new pocket park now under construction between the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and Bi-Mart on Highway 211.

A pocket park, also known as a mini-park, is a small area accessible to the public. Pocket parks are frequently created on a vacant lot or on small, irregular pieces of land. Although a pocket park would be too small to use for most activities, Mayor Deb Rogge noted in a recent city council meeting that the park could provide a green space along the highway approaching downtown Molalla. Huff said the land was deeded to the city.

The project was first discussed last month in a special meeting of the Molalla City Council and the Parks and Recreation Board, and approved by the council at its March 11 meeting.

City Manager Dan Huff said approximately $24,000 of Bohlander Field funds will be used to build the park, and that those funds have been held in trust.

Huff said the city could not use SDC funds for several reasons. First, the project is not in the parks master plan, and also the city council had not yet lifted the SDC moratorium. He said when the council does lift it, hopefully sometime in April, the estimated balance of the Parks SDC Fund will be $530,000.

He said there is a cap of $30,000 on the pocket park project, with the balance of the money possibly coming from parks funds.

The city had reached out to five local landscapers to submit plans and construction bids for the park and that some of the materials would be donated, he said.

At a recent council meeting, Councilor Glen Boreth questioned the placement of the project, noting it would be in an awkward location for use as a park. The mayor, said that a pocket park in that location would make a nice resting place for people walking along the highway, and also it would add a green space to beautify the area.

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