ALAMEDA -- The City Council is set to consider earmarking $500,000 toward the rehabilitation of sports fields once used by U.S. Navy sailors along the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, including adding a new baseball diamond designed for young people with physical or mental challenges.

The future eight-acre park at Singleton and Mosely avenues, which is currently in the design phase, will be lighted and feature a playground, pathways, a restroom building and group picnic areas.

The park will also offer open space for future residents of Alameda Point, especially Alameda Landing, where a Target store opened in October to help anchor the neighborhood's shopping center.

But the new "Estuary Park Athletic Fields" is also expected to help offset the demand for sports fields throughout the city, according to a background report for the council from Finance Director Fred Marsh and Amy Wooldridge, executive director of the Alameda Recreation and Park Department.

For last year's fall season, for instance, all field space was booked, despite a change in fees, and supporters of new sports in Alameda, such as rugby, lacrosse and ultimate frisbee, are requesting space, Marsh and Wooldridge said.

The money to transform the former Navy sports fields, which fell into disuse after the Alameda Naval Air Station closed in April 1997, will come from Measure WW, which Alameda and Contra Costa County voters approved in November 2008 to support the East Bay Regional Park District.


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Alameda is eligible for $3,465,489 under the ballot measure, which allocates funds on a per capita basis to cities within the park district. The money must be used by the end of 2018.

In 2010, the City Council approved funding for projects under the measure, including $1 million for the Alameda Boys and Girls Club Youth Center and $1.3 million to replace the Krusi Park recreation center. But two of the projects -- the replacement of a play structure at Tillman Park and the resurfacing of tennis courts at several parks -- came under budget, while other funding sources have been identified for replacing the restroom at the Encinal Boat Ramp and for improvements at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center.

As a result, money has been freed up to begin work at Estuary Park, Marsh and Wooldridge said.

The estimated total cost to renovate the site is $2 million. The agreement with Verde Design for the landscape design is $174,145.

City officials are keeping $264,416 of Measure WW funds in reserve since the work to replace the Krusi Park Recreation Center is ongoing; if the money is not used for the project, it will then go toward replacing playgrounds at local parks,

The City Council will consider funding for Estuary Park design on Tuesday as part of its consent calendar, which means City Hall staffers consider the item routine and the council will likely approve it without discussion.

In other business Tuesday, Marie Gilmore will give the annual state-of-the-city address.

Gilmore is expected to comment on the status of the Park Street and Webster Street business districts and the progress that the city is making toward redeveloping Alameda Point.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

IF YOU GO
The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.