“We’re trying to take care of every age group to make sure they have a place for practice,” said Ken Farmer, director of the Carroll County Department of Parks and Recreation.
Parks and Rec would replace three T-ball fields and a football field with six more soccer fields than the department had originally sought in August.
Parks and Rec staff said the switch became necessary when they learned that four athletic fields at Central Elementary and Middle schools, at which the department often scheduled games and practices, would likely be unavailable this spring because those schools were reconstructing their fields.
The athletic complex currently has three baseball fields, three softball fields, one football field, one soccer field, a gymnasium, concession stands and parking.
Farmer said recreation staff should be able to schedule T-ball games onto the baseball and softball fields. As for football, that could be played on the new soccer fields.
Farmer presented his new plan at the county commission Tuesday night meeting because the improvements came from special purpose local option sales tax money.
While they took no action, commissioners indicated they were open to the switch.
“I’m all for increasing recreation in the county,” Commissioner Randy Simpkins said.
The switch will not cost more than the $1,270,000 originally allotted for the complex’s upgrade. Work should be done sometime after next summer, Farmer said.
All told, the center would include about 10 acres of athletic fields after the upgrade.
While the commission is still mulling the field switch, it did approve eight other items for the complex, including new bleachers at the low-bid of $34,558 provided by Anthem Sports.
Among the more costly items is new field lighting. Georgia Power, which will provide lights for $303,978, was actually the highest-priced of the three companies that bid for the lights. But county engineers said the other two companies could not guarantee to cover the cost of the two transformers that would accompany the lights. The location of those transformers has to be approved by Georgia Power, regardless of whether or not the company received the bid for the lights, county staff said.
Commissioner Vicky Anderson cautioned against improvements that could cost the county money out of its operating fund down the road. Comptroller Don Johnson said the new lights would increase the center’s electric bill by about a third, to roughly $8,000 a month.
New irrigation pipes ($22,326.74), fences ($88,432.40) and sod ($49,980) were also approved for the recreation complex.