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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

City council continues to drag feet on Garrison Park re-development project.

While the city's Garrison Park redevelopment project has a signed grant contract with the state, engineers and a grant consultant and work is progressing on design and engineering work, council's action at last weeks called meeting put off passing the third and final reading on a budget amendment funding work that has taken place during the last part of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

So far the council has not canceled the project, the work or the grant but only tabled the approval of a budget amendment pending additional information.
City council called meeting-sitting at table L-R 
Danny Wyatt, Pamala Harris, Mayor James Mayberry
and J. H. Graham

The discussion mainly concerned the fence that is currently surrounding the park that the grant application indicated would be removed. The LPRF (Local Parks and Recreation Fund) has said the fence can be replaced but are holding a position that the current must be removed as it was part of the grant application they approved.

During discussion, councilman J. H. Graham said that his phone calls over the previous two weeks indicated that if the fence had to be removed and field A was lost that his constituents were in favor of discontinuing the renovations until coming up with a better solution. He added that finding a ball park was difficult in the city of Crossville.
Concept for Garrison Park re-development plan

Garrison Park entrance and fence

City manager Greg Wood said that the city would have the use of the ball fields that belong to the local school system at the two high schools if they were needed. It was also clarified that field A was not being removed and was not part of the current grant or renovation plan.

The fence remains the main sticking point as Graham said “I have a real problem with taking down a perfectly good fence and building it back.”

Councilman Danny Wyatt said that there was 4000 feet of chain link in the park that he said was “somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. “I'd like for a good level headed person to tell me why you would take a perfectly good fence down and create a safety concern,” commented Wyatt.

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Manager Wood explained that the current trend in parks is to have open access and not have fences all the way around them to encourage access to the park from all sides.

Wyatt said, “I'd like to make a motion to table this until someone can tell us why we have to take the fence down.

Questions arose on the fact that the city has already signed contracts for work done by the engineering firm Lose and Associates and Community Partners for grant administration. City attorney Will Ridley said that the city would have to pay for work that has already been done by the firms if the city were to back out of those contracts.

Questions about whether backing out of the grant would cause the city to be ineligible for additional such recreation grants was also discussed but manager Woods planned to meet with representatives of the city of Livingston for additional clarification on some of the issues since they just completed a similar grant. 

Councilwoman Pamala Harris indicated that the comments that they city could not get another grant didn't make sense to her since grants are usually awarded on a point system.  Said Wood, “If you don't close out one grant then it may be that you are not eligible to get another one.”

Wyatt's motion was approved with 4 votes in favor.

A motion to approve the year end budget amendments was approved by the council with little discussion and a unanimous vote of the council members present. Councilman Scot Shanks was out of town for the meeting.  

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