City staff were given the go-ahead to move forward with planned renovations at Teyechea Park at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
The next step will be hiring a contractor to prepare “construction documents” that will detail build plans for the site behind Nogales City Hall, according to Parks and Recreation Director Marcel Bachelier.
As the city moves forward with the project, it will also need to acquire part of a property that’s adjacent to city land in order to accommodate the centerpiece of the new park: an open-air amphitheater.
The owner of the adjacent parcel? Councilman Nubar Hanessian.
The plans for the park were revised earlier this year to change the location of the amphitheater, but Bachelier said that the original plans would still have required the city to acquire some of Hanessian’s land.
Hanessian left the room during the council’s brief discussion and vote regarding the park at Wednesday’s regular session.
City Attorney Mike Massee said the councilman will need to recuse himself from all votes related the park, but added that the land acquisition would otherwise follow “standard procedure.”
The council voted on plans related to the park on March 6, but Hanessian did not recuse himself from the discussion at that meeting and it wasn’t clear if he took part in the voice vote.
Interim City Manager John Kissinger told the council on Wednesday that the city is looking at grants that could cover construction or land acquisition costs related to the project.
If not paid for by grant money, the city could buy the land directly from Hanessian, or the councilman could donate it to the city.