Riverfront Park waits for repairs

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Sidewalk damaged by summer storms at Riverfront Park.

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 05:26 PM.

A recently renovated park is looking down at the heel.

A little more than three years ago, Apalachicola used two state grants totaling $400,000 to improve Riverside Park on the waterfront between Avenues D and E. Of this, $56,000 was used to install a central fountain in the park.

Plans for the park were inspired by design ideas suggested by the University of Georgia’s Riverways South committee and submitted to the city in 2008. Riverways’ report stressed the importance of the park to the downtown. “This is Apalachicola’s central park,” read the report. “It is the closest open space to the city’s commercial core.”

At the time, there was controversy over the renovations, which included the fountain as well as installation of planters, benches and picnic tables.

Members of the city’s waterfront committee chosen to review and oversee work on the waterfront, chaired by Harry Arnold, said they did not approve the plan before the fountain and other fixtures were ordered.

Architect Willoughby Marshall, brought in by Mayor Van Johnson to weigh in on the plan, said the design was not in keeping with what the city ought to pursue. Questions were also raised about why the city had not sought bids on installation of the fountain and other fixtures.

Nevertheless, Aquarius of Naples installed the fountain on April 19, 2009, with city grant writer Cindy Giametta supervising the work.

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