Overland Park already has a superb parks system, complemented by top-flight recreational facilities such as its soccer center.
But yes, the city could do even better in providing amenities for its residents.
Trails could be longer and more connected, the city could offer additional community centers and larger, regional pools could be built.
The pending master plan now under consideration envisions these and other improvements happening over a number of years, pending enough funds, naturally.
The priorities in the master plan ultimately will be established by the City Council, which is expected to approve the proposal in 2013. Currently, consultants are fine-tuning the plan after getting feedback from residents at a community meeting and after discussing it earlier this month with council members and the planning commission.
One part of the plan continues to generate concern, for good reasons.
The consultants have recommended closing up to four neighborhood pools — Roe, Marty, Stonegate and Bluejacket — while creating three larger regional aquatic centers offering amenities such as “lazy rivers.”
Shutting down the smaller pools would save money in the long run because they are too expensive to maintain, the consultants have indicated.
But residents near the small pools enjoy them. Plus, there are other options than just closing all four pools.
Voters in Mission last week approved a sales tax increase to help them keep their city pool open. While Overland Park isn’t ready to ask for a tax increase to keep smaller pools open, the option of retaining one or more neighborhood pools ought to be part of the discussion.
New public hearings should be scheduled in early 2013, after consultants have a better idea of which projects will be in the master plan and how much they would cost.