Shenandoah City Council approves Toddler Park fence design

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Shenandoah City Council unanimously approved the design for a fence at the city’s Toddler Park, during its Jan. 24 meeting.

For child safety reasons, a potential fence at the half-acre park, located at 315 Shenandoah Drive, Shenandoah, has been a topic of debate among residents and council members since the park first opened in June 2016.

The council considered three different fence routes, materials, as well as optional ADA-compliant gates with or without concrete work.

The council unanimously approved the shortest route option, known as “Location 3” which is 175 feet of fencing, with the aluminum tube fencing material option at a cost of $27 per linear foot. The fencing is 3 feet tall.

“I definitely like this location because I think it minimizes the impact,” Council Member Mike McLeod said. “I’ve never been a big fan or proponent of the fence but if we’re going to do it, we need to do it in a way that looks as aesthetically pleasing as possible and pushing it behind the shrubs, I think, is an appropriate thing to do because it’s going to minimize it’s appearance. As the shrubbery grows up and as the greenery takes hold the visual impact of the fence will be much less.”

The council also opted for two ADA compliant gates without concrete work, each for $1,500. The total cost of the fence is estimated at $7,725.

“The only objection I have to [Location 3] is the functionality because if you go by that park, you’ll watch the kids going around the sidewalk and take the loop all the way around,” Council Member Ted Fletcher said. “[With Location 3] you limit that ability.”

Although the chosen route option would break up the circle of sidewalk inside of the fenced area and benches and a drinking fountain would be outside of the fenced area, gates could be placed without the need for concrete or grading work, which would elevate the cost of each gate to $12,500.

Mayor Ritch Wheeler said the route option also provides flexibility in the future, if council decides to add a parking lot.

“The one thing that I do like about Location 3 is that in the future, if we ever do want to put a parking space or spaces there in the northeast corner of the park, then it wouldn’t disrupt that fence,” Wheeler said. “So it at least provides that opportunity in the future.”

Shenandoah’s Communication Specialist Debbie Pilcher said the fence instillation is expected to take place early summer 2018.

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Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a full-time reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. She covers business, transportation, health care and other local news, specializing in Shenandoah City Council and Montgomery County nonprofit organizations.
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