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Prairie Creek Park project delayed

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The City of Frankfort has cited heavy spring rains, setbacks on the work site and utility work as having delayed the construction of Prairie Creek Park in downtown Frankfort.

The new park was to host two October festivals, but setbacks have forced both to be moved to other venues. The inaugural Frankfort Hispanic Heritage Festival scheduled for Oct. 5 will now he held at Veterans Park in downtown Frankfort. A week afterward, Oktoberfest will now be held on a closed-off section of Washington Street just south of the construction site on Oct. 12.

“While we are disappointed in the setbacks that have delayed the completion of this park, we strongly believe that Prairie Creek Park will be an asset to the community for generations to come,” Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes stated in a press release Wednesday. “The quality of the work is more important to us than the completion date. Even so, we are working with the construction company to see if any additional steps can be taken, or any additional hours can be worked so that the park can be completed as soon as possible.”

According to the release, the original completion date of the new park was set for August. However, work was substantially delayed during the spring rains. Subsurface issues at the construction site resulted in additional unexpected cleanup work which had to be resolved before construction could proceed. The contractor, MacDougall Pierce Construction, estimates construction of the new park will last into late fall.

“Any time that you have a large project, there is quite a bit going on in every direction,” Frankfort Parks Superintendent Travis Sheets said. “You have to anticipate sometimes that you may run into these situations. We want Prairie Creek Park to be done right in every aspect. I think the community is willing to say lets wait a little while and have a beautiful park when you are finished.”

“I was looking forward to the first festival there, as well,” Sheets added. “But, again, it is one of those things we have to deal with. We will make sure that Oktoberfest goes over really well in the other location. It won't be as spectacular as Prairie Creek Park, but we will do our best to receive the public and make it a good event.”