The gazebo at Riverfront Park will be coming down, but it could be going back up as McMinnville officials are leaning toward replacement.
“We all know the gazebo has been out of commission,” said Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord. “It’s becoming hazardous.”
The condition of the gazebo was presented to members of the city Parks and Recreation Committee with members Ben Newman, chair, Steve Harvey, and Jimmy Bonner.
A year ago, the city had the steps removed to prevent access due to the structure being condemned. The condition of it has continued to deteriorate and city officials are concerned it could fall.
City administrator Bill Brock says the wooden structure is not salvageable and it will be removed to prevent it from falling on its own.
“I wouldn’t stand on it,” said Brock, when asked about the condition of the wooden floor. “I wouldn’t go up there. We’re probably going to jerk it down pretty soon. I don’t want it to fall on somebody. It’s rotting more every day and I don’t trust it.”
McCord says he would like Riverfront Park to have a gazebo, presenting the committee with computer-generated renderings of it gone and of it replaced with one that’s closer to the ground.
“I would like to see it kept in some manner or form,” he said. “I think it’s great. I thought about bringing it closer to the ground. Maybe if the Blue Building bricks are still available, we could brick it in. It would be a new open gazebo that’s lower to the ground.”
The area’s tendency to flood during heavy rains makes that a bad idea.
“If you put it on the ground, as pretty as that looks, it will look muddy in the first flood,” said city administrator Bill Brock.
Newman wants the gazebo lower for safety issues.
“I think it needs to be lower to the ground but not too low where water is going to consistently come over it,” said Newman. “We need to get rid of that liability of it being up so high. Even though there is railing around it, it’s still high off the ground.”
The masonry work under the gazebo is part of an old water holding tank. It was constructed specifically to that height to prevent rising water from breaching the top. When the park was established in 1986, the gazebo was built on top of it due to the expense of removing the structure.
The tank is no longer in use, but city officials may leave it in place and build another gazebo on top of it.
Committee members unanimously voted to allow McCord to obtain bids on gazebo replacement without lowering it. No time has been set for the current gazebo to be removed.