By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The Grayson Sports Park is going to have to pay someone to have their fallen backstop netting fixed. But park manager Grant Harper is confident the park can takes those funds out of retainage held out on the contractor who installed the fences and netting.
Harper explained to a joint meeting of the park board and tourism commission that backstop netting which recently fell in the park did so because it wasn’t installed properly. According to instructions from the manufacturer the netting is supposed to be zip-tied into place, then it’s supposed to be lashed to the fencing with special cordage. According to Harper the fencing contractor that installed the netting used zip-ties, but failed to install the lashing. Though they obviously didn’t follow the directions for proper installation, Harper said, the fencing contractor is refusing to redo the work without further compensation.
So, Harper said, he plans to take the cost for the installation out of an approximately $15,000 retainage the park has not yet remitted to the contractor.
The company who manufactures the netting typically does the installation for around $14,000 per backstop. But, he said, after explaining the park’s situation and what went wrong, they agreed to come do the work for less than half that cost.
While the original contractor said they didn’t have any further instructions for the netting installation, and claimed they weren’t able to reach representatives with the company, Harper said he was skeptical of those claims. He said he found the netting manufacturer’s representatives to be friendly, helpful, accessible, and responsive.
Harper also gave an update on the drainage project at the park, which was successfully completed and is working to drain the park and adjacent properties.
“It’s been tested well,” Harper said, noting the recent heavy rains.
While the ditch does fill quickly when the rains are heavy, he said, it also drains quickly. He said there was still some cosmetic concrete work to be done, but that would have to wait until things had dried up, and the drain was functional as it is.
He also reported on work to clear acreage in the area where the walking trail around the park will be located, as well as work on the back parking lot. That lot, he said, will be a staging area for the astroturf installation, which should have “boots on the ground” by February 15.
While they’re still waiting on a water meter for the splash pad, they have been moving forward with installation and hookup of water features, so it will be ready to turn on when all work is complete.
He also discussed work on the area where football and soccer fields might be located. To have them leveled properly, he said, the board would be looking at a cost of around $100,000 per field. His concern with investing that kind of money was when, not if, the fields inevitably ended up covered by flood waters.
“It will flood at some point,” he said.
He said the fields could be made playable for less, even if it didn’t have a pristine playing surface. Because of the risk of flooding, though, he recommended going with the cheaper options.
“We really just want an area that is somewhat level and manicured,” he said.
Harper also discussed the use of land and water conservation grant funds for the purchase of an amphitheater cover, and talking to donors about funding for basketball courts.
They also discussed blacktopping options for the park’s parking and driving surfaces, and further concrete work that would be needed for curbing.
The board approved a motion to hire a concession manager for the park too.
In other action the tourism commission noted that based on their December totals, the restaurant tax had raised around $100,000 more than it had in the previous year, with December bringing in $51,000 in collections and an additional $16,000 outstanding. Hotel taxes have been paid, with late fees collected through September, tourism’s Maggie Duncan noted. The hotel owners told Duncan they expect to be completely paid up on late fees by the end of this month.
Tourism also discussed possible uses for the Brown building and attached lot, and upcoming projects with the Olive Hill Historical Society and other organizations, such as a county-wide play.
The park board and tourism will continue to hold joint meetings moving forward, with the park board moving to monthly reports and bi-monthly meetings, eventually moving to quarterly meetings, while the tourism commission sticks to a monthly meeting schedule.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org