Livermore residents are so active in volunteering that the city has two thriving Rotary clubs.
Livermore Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Livermore Valley are joining forces to spearhead a project they hope will begin a revitalization of Carnegie Park near downtown on Third Street.
They plan to build a gazebo at the park that will serve as a bandstand for concerts and other community events. The Livermore City Council just gave their approval.
"Now that it's been approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council, we will begin doing fundraising to try to help pay for it," said recently retired Livermore Police Chief Steve Sweeney. He began volunteering for the Livermore Rotary Club about five years ago. He is a co-chair with Dennis Gambs on the project. The gazebo was designed by Steve Neef, an engineer who volunteers as a Rotarian.
"We were looking for community service projects so we met with Livermore Downtown Inc. and they had on their wishlist a bandstand or gazebo at Carnegie Park," said Gambs, who works as an engineer for Zone 7 Water Agency.
"The ultimate goal is to kind of clean up this park, and this would just be one aspect of it," said Sweeney. The city also plans to update the park's landscaping. The project made it through the design and city approval process and now Rotarians will work with the city to finalize construction plans and build the gazebo within the next year.
"It's taken a little bit of time to get to where we are, but I think in the long run it will be worth it," said Sweeney.
Right now the park is used for a farmer's market, but Rotarians hope that the park will be used for more events in the future. This new project will include landscaping such as new turf and a pathway in the vicinity of the gazebo in accordance with the Carnegie Park Master Plan, which was also approved at the same meeting.
"We believe the gazebo project can be a kick-start for making other park improvements which are intended to make the park a safe and attractive place for the community while retaining its historic character," said Sweeney.
So how does Sweeney feel about the state of the city now that he is not overseeing its police department?
"I love Livermore," said Sweeney. "I was proud to be a member of the department. I was there for 29 years. I love living here, I think it's a great city. Livermore's in great shape. I have no intention of leaving. I just love living here."
The Livermore Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesdays at the Doubletree Hotel in Springtown. The Rotary Club of Livermore Valley meets at 7 a.m. Tuesdays at Beeb's at the Las Positas Golf Course.
"It's nice having two different clubs that meet at different times," said Sweeney. "We work really well together, there's a lot of cooperation."
The Rotary clubs are also working on a project to provide cooking stoves to families in Mexico.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.