Monroe Park renovation plans in limbo?

Posted at 9:49 PM, Apr 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-24 00:09:53-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)-  Plans to renovate Richmond’s Monroe Park were supposed to begin months ago, but, the park still sits as is.

Elaborate plans for the renovation of the historic seven-acre park have already been sketched out and were supposed to begin months ago. But transforming Monroe Park into that vision is still just a dream at this point.

The project is expected to cost more than six million dollars and organizers are still waiting to secure enough money from the private sector and the city.

Organizers are still working to secure enough money from the private sector and the city.

“The money is there,” said Richmond City Councilman, Charles Samuels.

Samuels said that the city is willing to contribute its share of the funds but must wait until organizers can prove they have enough financial backing from private contributors.

Samuels said he is confident the funds will be secured and when it is, the entire park will still be closed for renovations as originally planned.

That part of the plan doesn’t sit well with some people. Online petitions still circulate to keep a portion of the park open during renovations for those who rely on it daily, like the homeless.

“They need to be quiet, for real," said one homeless woman who wanted to be identified as Treasure. "They need to cut that out.”

Treasure told CBS 6 that she simply enjoys visiting the park daily to see her friends. “ It strengthens me."

"It makes me feel a lot better knowing that I'm not going through whatever problems I'm going through all by myself,” she said.

“You're redoing all the electrical, plumbing and everything underground has to be redone," said Councilman Samuels, in defense of the park's eventual partial closure.

Because of that, like any construction site, you need to secure the entire area,” said Councilman Samuels.

As far as a timeline for the start of construction, organizers wouldn’t provide one.

We spoke with them by phone and they told CBS 6 to check back toward the end of the summer to see what progress has been made.

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