Liberty Park goes out for bid

A dream for 20 years, Liberty Park finally will make the transition from plan to reality over the next month.

The city has put the project out to bid and expects a ground-breaking ceremony in September for the quarter-acre lot at the corner of North Bartlett and Maple streets.

Brian Sjothun, director of Medford Parks and Recreation, said the project is small enough that he would anticipate many bids would be received by the Sept. 8 deadline.

"The bidding pool should be fairly large," he said.

The city has already ordered the concrete, pre-fabricated restrooms and playground equipment.

The project is also expected to be small enough that City Manager Eric Swanson can sign off on it without additional approvals from the Medford Urban Renewal Agency board.

In order to create the Medford Urban Renewal Agency more than 20 years ago, the Liberty Park neighborhood was often cited as an economically depressed area that would benefit from redevelopment dollars.

Lithia Motors was required to spend up to $500,000 on the park as part of its agreement with MURA and the city of Medford to build The Commons downtown. Under its agreement the park should be completed by the end of the year.

In January, the MURA board accepted Lithia's accounting of how much it provided for the project, which totaled $523,230.

The Liberty Park neighborhood, which

— Damian Mann

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