published Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Marion County ponders request for veterans park

JASPER, Tenn. — Even though the Marion County Commission has donated $3,000 to the Marion County Veterans Memorial Park this year, park officials said they need more money to pave a nearby parking lot.

Park volunteer Bob Miller this week asked the board for some more money so the paving could be completed as soon as possible.

"We're very proud of our park, but it's been hard times," he said. "We had a hard time as far as donations last year, but we still got a lot accomplished. We don't care to pay for some of [the paving], but it would put a drain on our funds [to pay it all]."

Miller said he doesn't think taxpayers would have a problem with the county helping the group to pave the parking lot.

County Road Superintendent Neal Webb said he recently contacted a company that agreed to provide the paving materials for the job at "a cut rate."

The project could cost up to $4,200, but likely will come in under that price, he said.

Officials said at least $1,000 of the park's yearly budget always goes to cover various expenses.

Miller said the park is "one of the greatest things that ever happened to this county" and paving the parking lot would be a welcome addition for its visitors.

"There are a lot of things we can do [ourselves], but there are a lot of things we can't do," he said. "We have to bring someone in to do it."

Commissioner Donald Blansett said the park doesn't need to spend the county's entire $3,000 donation on the paving, and he suggested the board's Finance Committee look into the matter.

"Right now, we're just throwing numbers out in the air," he said.

The board instructed Miller's group to meet with Webb and the Commission's Finance Committee in order to make a formal request.

If necessary, the proposal will be brought before the board again in November.

"Before we can vote on them getting some more money, I think that needs to come as a recommendation from the finance committee," Commission Chairman Les Price said.

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