Woodstock officials paused design of a new park last spring because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But when they wanted to resume, the design firm was no longer in the park design business.

The Woodstock City Council recently approved the termination of a contract with the Greenberg Farrow firm for design work on Little River Park.

“Back in March, we stopped a number of professional development projects, one of which was the design of Little River Park,” City Manager Jeff Moon said. “We stopped this during the early stages of the shutdown of COVID and not knowing the long-term impacts on the economy.”

Although the project was stopped at that time, Moon said the money that had been allocated for it was carried forward in the budget for a time when it could be continued. However, he said Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department Director Michael Huffstetler earlier in the month contacted Greenberg Farrow, letting the firm know they could resume work on the project, putting together a master plan for the park.

“They notified him at that time that they had laid off their entire park planning staff in July. Subsequent conversations over the course of the next week, they also let him know that they were getting out of the parks design business,” Moon said.

During the conversations, Greenberg Farrow offered to suggest a new firm to take over the project, but the city and Greenberg Farrow agreed to simply terminate the contract and turn over all documentation related to the project to the city. Following Moon’s presentation, a motion to approve the termination, contingent on Greenberg Farrow turning over all of the documents and other related project information, passed in a unanimous vote of the council.

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