In the community, Local government

City gets $20,000 donation to fund major upgrade to Cottonwood Park

VALE – The city’s Cottonwood Park received a $20,000 boost last week.
The cash donation was courtesy of Ontario resident Akiko Rucker.
City officials and Rucker have been working on the donation for the past year. Last week Rucker handed the $20,000 check over to Todd Fuller, Vale city manager, and Tom Vialpando, Vale mayor at Four Rivers Cultural Center.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Vialpando.
The donation will be used to build a new picnic pavilion, said Fuller.
“It gives us one more place where people can hang out with their families,” said Fuller.
The money will cover the purchase of a metal frame pavilion kit and the installation of the structure, he said. The park is on Ellsworth Street on the north edge of Vale.
Fuller said he has been trying to get bids for the installation of the pavilion but hasn’t had much luck.
“I’ve talked to six different contractors and I still don’t have a bid on my desk,” said Fuller.
He expects construction, when he can get a contractor, will begin in the spring.
Fuller said the Ruckers used to own the property where Cottonwood Park sits but donated it to the city in the “early 90s.”
“She always wanted to see something at the park and wanted to donate back,” he said of the donor.
Now, said Fuller, the park contains Frisbee golf holes, a baseball backstop and some soccer goals.
The 23-foot-by-36-foot pavilion will be a nice addition to the park, said Vialpando, and fits into the city’s parks master plan.
“For the family to donate the property many years ago and still have an interest in seeing it developed as a family-oriented place to meet is Vale is great,” he said.
Rucker said the donation was something she planned to do for a long time.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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