Commonwealth Journal

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March 14, 2013

Somerset transforms eyesore into community park

Somerset —  

What used to be an eyesore for the city will soon be a community park.
Somerset City Council during a Monday work session discussed plans to convert the land where the Marydale Apartments once stood on Bourne Avenue into a small community park.
Councilors heartily approved Monday the tentative plans for the small park, which would have benches and possibly a small fountain. 
The park will be an about-face from what the area used to be like. The apartments that once stood there, which were torn down in May 2012, were the scene of at least on methamphetamine lab explosion that sent one tenant to the hospital with severe burns. The explosion, which occurred in 2006, damaged the building, and it remained vacant up to its demolition. 
“The day that was torn down received great applause from the facility and our residents,” said Brian Jaggers, administrator for Somerwoods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Somerwoods is located directly across from the Marydale area. Jaggers and several others from the nearby nursing facilities appeared during Monday’s regular-called council meeting to voice their support of the park.
“The park is a really terrific idea,” said Jill Spurgeon, administrator for Cumberland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located on Norfleet Drive near Somerwoods. “It’s not far from our facility. We can take them (residents) over there, they can relax and do things that they want to, it’d be great.”
Bubbles Girdler, also with Cumberland, agreed.
“It would be such a good thing for our patients to go over there and be able to enjoy the sunshine,” she said. 
Aside from the area’s nursing facilities, which also include The Highlands Assisted Living facility, located on Norfleet Drive, several companies are located within walking distance of what will be the park.
Southern Belle Dairy and the Pulaski County health Department are two such businesses located in the area.

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