Renovations will be coming to multiple fields across some of Dawson County’s most popular parks in the near future, thanks to votes from the Board of Commissioners this past Thursday.
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During their Oct. 6 voting session, the board unanimously approved bids of $1.4 million to install artificial turf on Veterans Memorial Park’s football and multipurpose fields and $699,289 for an ADA-compliant rubber field at Rock Creek Park.
In July, the board rubber stamped $2.5 million in impact fees for these projects’ design-builds.
Part of the $2.5 million approved includes contingency fees of $100,000 for the artificial turf and $262,671 for the ADA field.
Precision Turf and Ram Enterprises will each be in charge of their own designs and construction for the artificial turf and ADA field projects respectively, said Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne during the board’s Oct. 6 work session.
If the contingency funds are not used, that’s “money we’ll be saving taxpayers,” Payne said.
The football artificial turf field at Veterans Memorial Park will be permanently painted with lines to indicate its usage, while the multipurpose field will still be a green space usable for multiple kinds of sports. The ADA field, which will be at Rock Creek Park’s Field no. 9, will be wheelchair accessible, Payne added.
Impact fee money has to be used for growth-related infrastructure. Out of the various county departments, Parks and Rec has seen the continual growth of its programs in recent years.
Since Dawson County’s Parks and Rec hadn’t used Precision Turf before, Payne said his department didn’t jump into the artificial turf venture lightly. They first studied the company’s prior projects, and Payne even met with a firm official to do a walk-about of the proposed area involved at Veterans Memorial Park.
Payne asked the board to move the bid approvals ahead to the voting session “especially for the ADA field and trying to get it done by the end of the year.”
Before voting, District 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield thanked Payne, purchasing manager Melissa Hawk and County Manager David Headley for their efforts.
“You’ve built a good program down there [at Rock Creek Park], and this is going to help some kids that need that program,” Satterfield said. “It’s school, too. They deserve the same opportunities as everyone else.”
During their voting session, board members also approved usage of $150,000 in SPLOST VI funds for re-grading Rock Creek Park’s ball fields 7-12 and re-sodding park tee-ball fields 13, 14 and 16.
Payne previously said the renovated fields would be easier to maintain and use, with less lips in the soil and better drainage.
In other news, the county’s meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about Dawson-area park closures along Lake Lanier was postponed, according to the county manager.
An update on the park closures will be provided when more information is available.