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Saturday, June 17, 2017

After assurances fence and Field "A" are safe, council moves forward on Garrison Park improvements.

Crossville city council agreed to move forward with the planned redevelopment of Garrison Park while the city plans to keep the perimeter fence around the park and the so called Field “A” intact.

The city received a $500,000 grant toward the project to remove the late 1940's grandstand, put in a playground, a splash pad, a new basketball court and a rest room. The city is to match the state funds for the total cost of $1 million for phase one of the project. It is unclear if or when additional work might be done on the park.
Initial design plan for Garrison Park improvements

The action on the June agenda was a budget amendment for the current fiscal year to move forward with contracts for design and grant administration. Council members Danny Wyatt and Pamala Harris both expressed concern about the need to retain the fence around the park and the larger ball field at the park.
L-R: City manager Geg Wood, council members J.H. Graham
and Danny Wyatt, Mayor James Mayberry and council members
Pamala Harris and Scot Shanks. 

The item was pulled out of the consent agenda for separate action and discussion by councilman J. H. Graham and councilman Danny Wyatt addressed his concerns saying, “I'm all about building this park over there but I want it done correctly.” Wyatt mentioned the fence around the park and said it would be very expensive to replace.

Entrance to Garrison Park

The other item Wyatt sought clarification on is the ability to leave Field A since it is part of the second phase of the project that is not currently funded or under consideration. Wyatt also questioned why if the grandstand was part of Field A was it part of this project.

Mayor James Mayberry responded, “The bleachers were one of the biggest health and safety issues with the whole deal and why it was a priority.”

Councilwoman Pamala Harris said her biggest concern was if there was a guarantee that the city could conserve Field A and conserve the fence. “I'm just uncomfortable unless I know these things can be saved,” added Harris.

Check the great lineup of vehicles at

Mayor Mayberry said that he had a verbal assurance that the state would use common sense about the safety provided by the perfectly good fence and there should be no reason to remove it. Mayberry added that he had been to the Tennessee Municipal League meeting and found out that park designers like to have parks feel more open without fences but that safety is a concern.

Mayberry said that with the removal of the grandstand a backstop fence would be required as well.

Discussion of a possible big tournament in the Fall came up and it was estimated that no work on the field would start before the first of 2018 and the grant funds must be used within 2 years.

Video of council discussion on Garrison Park

With one final reading still to go, the city will request an answer in writing by a special called meeting on June 29th when the final reading is expected to take place along with the final reading of the 2017-18 budget.

With that, Mr. Wyatt made the motion to approve contingent on getting an answer by the third reading and was supported by Mr. Graham and the motion passed unanimously.

The longtime park has been the location of a baseball field since the 1920's according to property records and at one time was the location where the Cumberland County Fair was held.

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