http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2 ... d=10553464
NANCY GAARDER WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:The City of Omaha is soliciting ideas for improving the neighborhood park at 38th and Nicholas Streets, next to the Walnut Hill Reservoir.
But the big question could be whether an expansion is in the park's future.
Metropolitan Utilities District, which owns the approximately four square blocks where the now empty reservoir and the city park are located, discontinued use of the reservoir in November, said Tom Wurtz, the utility's president. The park occupies about half the land.
Over the next two to three years, the utility will monitor whether it can adequately supply eastern Omaha with water without resuming use of the reservoir. Should the utility decide it doesn't need the water storage provided by the reservoir, it will decommission it, Wurtz said.
At that point, he said, MUD would be open to turning the land over to the city. If the city isn't interested, it's possible that MUD would declare the land surplus and available for sale. Any eventual use of the land would have to be compatible with continued operation of a pump station there, he said.
Independent of whatever happens with the reservoir, Wurtz has good news for neighborhood children: MUD will continue operating the adjacent fountain, a popular spot on hot summer days.