Weather played havoc with events in Crawford County Monday.
Snow forced early school closings throughout the county and canceled several meetings, including the monthly Van Buren City Council meeting.
The council meeting was postponed until 7 p.m. Thursday in the city council room of the Municipal Complex at which time aldermen will consider approving a $11.5 million comprehensive parks and recreation plan.
The city has been working with officials from Bentonville-based contractors CEI Engineering and Alta Planning & Design on the project. It will be in line with the parks master plan that includes recent park renovations paid for by grant funding and the citywide 1 percent sales tax.
Planning Director Joe Hurst said the plan will give the city and the City Council a "road map" for years to come for prioritizing park improvements and seeking out grants.
Hurst said the public’s involvement has been a key factor in developing the plan throughout the course of the years worth of planning.
Citizens have weighed in on a variety of suggestions for improving parks and recreational opportunities in the city. Residents voiced interest in a swimming pool or aquatics center and additional opportunities for walking, bicycling, hiking and running.
Other activities that received support include concerts, an adventure/ropes course, canoeing and kayaking and fitness programs.
Those suggestions have been compiled into the proposed plan, which is separated into three pieces based on priority, including immediate needs followed by short- and long-term goals.
Included in the immediate needs are the redevelopment of Veterans Memorial Park and incorporating a farmers market, outdoor stage and a "splash pad" with a children’s play area, which would assist in the city’s effort to revitalize and clean up the downtown area.
Other immediate plans include the expansion of playground offerings at Dr. Louis Peer Memorial Park and beginning construction of facilities at Colley Park and Legacy Park.
The plan also proposes the development of bicycle and pedestrian trails and other improvements to open greenspaces.
Also at Thurday’s meeting, Mayor Bob Freeman will give his annual state of the city address.
Aldermen will consider using state monies to overlay 28th Street in the Industrial Park. The council also will vote on hiring Hawkins-Weir Engineers Inc. for engineering services for a Rena Road sidewalk project, South 40th Street draining project, Drennen-Scott Historic Site sidewalk project and the 2015 street overlay project.
The Old Town Merchants Association will present requests for closing Main Street for festivals and other events in 2015.