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Making a splash: Park board plans for progress

By: Jeremy D. Wells

Carter County Times

 The Grayson Park Board has a couple of options before it for the new sprayground to be featured at the Grayson Sports Park complex. But, depending on the information they get back, the park may choose to go with fewer amenities to start with so they can build out in the future on a better foundation. 

Park manager Grant Harper told the board he has priced several different options, with the cheaper option running as much as $20,000 less than the more expensive option. One of the places where the cheaper options saves that money, however, is on concrete, which Harper said caused some concerns with him. He explained that he knows the more expensive option has regularly spaced rebar embedded in the concrete, to help support the water features. He isn’t clear about how the concrete is reinforced on the cheaper option though, or what the composition of the concrete is. 

If the concrete begins to degrade at some point in the future, he continued, it isn’t the sort of thing that can be easily repaired. Rather it would need to be completely redone from scratch. This, he explained, is why he has some questions about the concrete that he would like to have answered before making a decision. 

The board agreed with Harper’s view, with board chair Mindy Woods-Click telling the board that she prefers establishing a “good infrastructure” that can be built out later as more money becomes available. 

Harper said because of their design, he also believes the state may require them to route their water from the sprayground to the sanitary sewer rather than the storm sewer, because of how close they are to a river. This could add somewhat to water and sewage costs – as the park would have to pay sewage costs they would not be responsible for with a drainage to the storm sewer – but it isn’t likely to be significant. Harper said he was “fairly certain” the park would be able to work out a deal with the city both to tie into the sanitary sewer and to pro-rate their sewer costs on water used for the sprayground since so little will end up in the sewage system. 

The board moved to approve the expenditure of up to $222,000 on the sprayground project, with a preference for a sports theme if it can be had without significantly increasing the costs. Harper will make the final choice on what company to deal with and what style of equipment to purchase.

In other action Harper advised the board on plans to purchase fence caps for all fence posts, rather than just the outfield posts, and discussed drainage issues and plans for the city to complete ditching work. Other fencing work has also been done with cables strung for the backstop nets. 

Harper also discussed plans to purchase items from local merchants. He noted the park has already contracted with Grayson Sporting Goods to provide batting cage screens and other items. 

Harper also discussed plans for infield soil conditioner and warning track materials. He said drainage may be needed around the warning track, to keep future rain storms from washing the lighter materials away. 

He said the cost for this material, which includes laser field leveling at the end, runs from $147,000 to $185,000 for three fields. This does not necessarily include the cost of drainage around the warning track, which is recommended to keep the material from floating away during heavy rains.

The board also discussed plans for a walking trail, with Harper telling them he has received one quote on the trail but is still waiting on other bids before presenting them with options for approval. 

In other action the board also heard from representatives with the Foundation for the Tri-State on establishing an endowment to fund the park into the future. The board moved to accept a recommendation from the Grayson Recreation Alliance that the board work with the Foundation for the Tri-State to establish an endowment with an initial minimum investment of $10,000. The board also discussed the possible hiring of a part time employee to work on park board and other tourism commission tasks. 

The next meeting of the park board will be April 8, at the Grayson Galley, at 10 a.m. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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