Gophers have made this park practically useless according to citizens complaining openly before the city council on a regular basis about dangerous conditions in the park.
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City Manager's report on the park.
Date: March 27, 2009
To: Dianne Thompson, City Manager
From: Damien O’Bid, City Engineer / Director of Public Works
Re: Condition of Helen Putnam Park
This memorandum describes the current condition of Helen Putnam Park and the actions taken to address gophers at the park.
There has been ongoing gopher activity at Putnam Park, particularly on the north edge from behind the baseball stands to the drainage channel on the east edge of the park. The Public Works crew has re-graded the area behind the snack shack, deployed poison bait, and installed several subsurface ultrasonic probes in order to deter gopher activity. The crew continues to actively control gopher activity using bait and the ultrasonic probes.
There are several methods available to create a gopher-proof path, including the use of asphalt or concrete, both of which are a barrier to gophers. However, other than diligently continuing to control gophers, there is no practical way to create a flat walking surface off a defined path, since this is the nature of a park. Any project to pave the pathway would require CEQA review and funds for construction. The project would cost approximately $25,000 (550 ft x 4 ft @$10 ft2) if it was constructed along the north edge of the park. However, gophers are not limited to this area, so extension of this path to the parking area would cost approximately $45,000 (1,100 ft). There is no current source of funding for this work, and we do not recommend it at this time.
Prior to the subject of gophers at Putnam Park being raised at a recent City Council meeting, the City had received one only complaint regarding gophers at the park. In July of 2008, staff met with a citizen who complained about the gophers. I described for her the methods that were being used to control gopher activity.
No claims have been filed related to gopher activity at the park.
Staff will continue to monitor gopher activity at the park and to use a variety of methods to attempt to control the activity.