Paramount getting upgraded Dills Park, new ‘pocket park’

By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

PARAMOUNT   Residents later this year can enjoy the upgraded Dills Park, 6500 San Juan St, and a new “pocket park” on Somerset Ranch Road near Gardendale Street.

The City Council Jan. 23 approved contracts for both projects.

For the Ralph C. Dills Park, Council contracted with Parsams Construction, Inc. of Glendale, determined to be the sole responsive bidder, in the amount of $2,570,000. With a 10 percent  contingency of $257,000, the total cost is estimated at  $ 2,827,000, said Public Works Director  Adriana Figueroa.

New amenities at Dills Park include conversion of the north field turf area into an orchard complete with a variety of fruit trees, garden plot areas, picnic shelter, decomposed granite walking path, lighting and all necessary irrigation and planting improvements, Figueroa said.

Of the $2.6 million for construction, another  $375,000 is for electrical work plus service installation, fencing work at $330,800 and portions of landscaping work at $116,700, she added.

Funding includes a $200,000 grant from the Port of Long Beach as well as a state budget allocation of $1,000,000 from State Assembly Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon, Figueora noted.

The Somerset Ranch Pocket Park, on a vacant parcel owned by the Somerset Ranch Apartments, will be designed  by  Studio One-Eleven, of Long Beach,  at a cost of $47,135. That includes design, surveying, civil engineering and a cost estimator, said Parks and Recreation Director David Johnson.

He said staff became aware of an unused vacant triangular parcel adjacent to and owned by the Gardendale Park Apartments, about a year ago. Owners of the apartments  are willing to enter into an agreement with the City to convert the remnant parcel into a pocket park.

 Under Paramount’s  Pocket Park program, the City obtains permission from the property owner to landscape and maintain the parcel while the property owner retains ownership, Johjnson said.

“Converting this parcel into a pocket park would provide improvements to a blighted parcel that is currently used by area residents as a place to let their pets relieve themselves,” he added.

Staff worked with Studio One-Eleven to create a design concept for the pocket park to include a walking path, landscaping, replacement block wall, seating, perimeter 3-rail fencing, and dog waste stations. The landscaping was also designed to attract and support butterflies, Johnson said. 

The council allocated $47,500 from its Capital Improvement Fund for the project.