First Posted: 6/16/2009
DOBSON Surry County commissioners agreed to help fund the Shoals Community Park during their meeting Monday night, after Adam McComb, parks and recreation director, announced the lowest bidder.
McComb said Garanco of Pilot Mountain had come in with the lowest bid of $605,933, which is $164,763 over the projected budget.
Commissioner Jim Harrell Jr. suggested that the board contribute $59,000 to further the project.
I think this will eventually be to our benefit, Harrell said.
Vice Chair Paul Johnson said he thought the county should try to stay within the $441,000 original budget.
The park will include two adult softball fields, a soccer field, a one-mile walking trail, disc golf, a concession stand with restrooms and parking. McComb said the county originally received $500,000 for the project from a grant from the N.C. Park and Recreation Trust Fund. Of those funds, $59,000 has already been spent on architectural and design work. With the addition of the $59,000 from the county, the Shoals Recreation Committee can either raise the remaining amount of $105,000, volunteer to do some of the work, or eliminate some of the scheduled projects.
The 86-acre tract of the park is three miles south of Shoals Elementary School. McComb said after talking with the recreation committee and the general contractor, he hopes work on the site will begin in approximately three weeks. McComb hopes the details of the rest of the funding will be worked out by then.
Harrell made the motion Monday to give $59,000 to the project, which gets the grant back up to its original amount before the architectural and design money was spent. The vote passed four to one, with Johnson as the hold-out. Johnson said with the economy in the shape it is in, he is more concerned with funding priorities such as employment.
I feel like the taxpayers have already invested enough. I am one of the biggest advocates of this park, but right now we need to concentrate on our priorities before spending on luxuries, Johnson said Tuesday night in a phone interview.
McComb is planning on meeting with the Shoals Recreation Committee in the near future to see what it can offer to help pay for the project, with fundraisers or volunteer work from the community.
Chairman Craig Hunter offered some advice to residents living in the Shoals community.
They need to do a fundraiser and come up with the rest of the money. They could sell bricks or name a ball field or playground after someone. How about the Paul M. Johnson Memorial Field? said Hunter, which caused laughter to erupt from the audience.
Referring to the vote by commissioners, Hunter told McComb that he hoped residents of that community will come together to make up the difference in the budget.
Adam, this is a big deal. I hope they can appreciate the effort, Hunter said.
He said the Shoals Recreation Committee bought the land and donated it back to the county, which acted as a matching grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Prior to the county owning the land, $800,000 worth of work was done to the streams in the park through a Pilot View Resource Conservation and Development program, McComb said.
In other action during the board of commissioners meeting Monday night, commissioners agreed to sell a piece of property they purchased at an earlier date that belonged to the late Al Crocker. The property is at the end of Little Waterfalls Drive in Pilot Mountain off Dodson Mill Road.
Surry County Planning Director Kim Bates told commissioners that the six-acre tract is surrounded by mostly residential, wooded and farmland.
Mr. Cocker graded the site and possibly buried several mobile homes on the property. Its not a real valuable property, maybe $24,000. Theres no way to know how much it would cost to clean up the site, Bates told commissioners.
Commissioners decided unanimously to declare the property as surplus and sell it as is.
We need to make sure that we advertise this as buyer beware. We need to have full disclosure to make sure they feel we didnt hoodoo them, Hunter said.
The board agreed to sell the property through a sealed bid method. Johnson made the motion, and Commissioner Jimmy Miller seconded the motion.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.