SEELEY — The county of Imperial’s Department of Public Works has been recreating and adding to the mantra of Seeley's Sunbeam Lake and its available amenities aside from just fishing and T-ball.
Over a year ago, Sunbeam Lake and the parks program was taken over by the county of Imperial’s Department of Public Works.
“Supervisor Mike Kelly really wanted us to make an effort to improve the parks and to improve the quality of life for our community park visitors and inhabitants,” said Deputy Director of Public Works, Facilities Services, and Capital Facilities Eddie Cedeno.
Aside from the existing playground, basketball courts, and Frisbee golf course — under the helm of public works — Sunbeam Lake has added pergolas, water feature improvements, two beach volleyball courts, a full-length soccer field equipped with two pro-style netted goals, and a softball field is on the horizon.
“A lot of people utilize Sunbeam for family reunions and we found that there were limited activities available to them out here, so we wanted to provide more amenities that the public and local park residents can utilize,” said Cedeno.
Five pergolas are now available to the public with new larger barbecues, benches, and electrical outlets.
“The pergolas are large, grassy areas where families who rent bouncers can plug directly in and host a party on a nice day,” said Cedeno.
Another area that is in the stages of finalizing is the Sunbeam Gardens social square; a lakefront area option (with electrical accommodations) for the community to come, take pictures, have graduation parties or even weddings.
“We’re trying to get this going for our county residents so they can stay here and utilize the park instead of heading out to San Diego or Yuma for something they can experience here,” said Parks and Facility Supervisor Hector Perez.
Per public works, grinder pumps have been added at the lift station to eliminate restroom back-ups, causing the park’s entire restroom facilities to shut down.
“There are improvements that that we have made to our infrastructure, including additions that are unseen but are very important to the enjoyment of the park, for example the grinder pumps,” said Cedeno. “Since the grinders have been installed, there has not been one single back up recorded.”
Sunbeam Lakes’ newly acquired amenities were accommodated by existing funding, employees, rangers, and ground maintenance crew.
According to public officials, the Prop 68 park bond may be the answer to expanding funds for more improvements such as softball field bleachers and potentially, Wi-Fi access.
“Our plan, under the vision of Supervisor Mike Kelley, is to secure more land to increase the footprint of the park,” said Cedeno. “We’d like to get input from the community on what the public wants to see happen to hopefully incorporated into our park.”
Imperial County Public Works has launched an app providing information on what new amenities are available at Sunbeam Lake, as well as all of the other parks that fall under the purview of public works.
“If someone were to have an electrical issue at the pergolas (per se), they could make a notification stamp within the app which goes directly to the supervisor and all five rangers who will be available to appropriate real-time assistance,” said Cedeno.
The County of Imperial Department of Public Works app also alerts the public to vital local information, from road closures to upcoming notable events.
“Our ultimate vision with these park renovation efforts is to improve the transparency with the county and it's citizens," said Cedeno.