Independent Operator Mulled for Steed Park

Closed for the last year, Richard T. Steed Memorial Park will reopen if the City Council approves a plan allowing an independent concessionaire to take over the park's operation.

The park, named for the city's only police officer killed in the line of duty, was home to many youth and adult softball teams.

After San Clemente voters rejected Measure A, a local utility tax, constraints on the city budget led to a 55% reduction in the city's staff and the park's closure, said Bruce Wegner, director of beaches, parks and recreation for the city.

Under the proposal, a local concessionaire will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the park in exchange for the exclusive right to sell concessions to park visitors.

"This would allow the park to operate at no cost to the city and give youth a place for recreation," Wegner said.

If approved, the park could reopen in September after the fields have been reseeded, Wegner said.

The meeting begins at 7 tonight at the Civic Center, 100 Avenida Presidio.

Information: (949) 361-8200.

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