published Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Kimball prioritizes projects for grant

KIMBALL, Tenn. — As city administrators prepare for major enhancements to Kimball Park, they want to make sure their list of needs is prioritized in case the grant money for the work runs out.

Alderman Johnny Sisk, chairman of the city's Parks and Recreation Board, said six projects have been identified that officials want to complete with Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant money the town recently received totaling more than $315,000.

On Thursday, the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved the project list recommended by the parks board.

In order of importance, Sisk said, the board wanted to install lights for the three remaining ball fields, put in scoreboards for two remaining ball fields, construct roofs and concrete floors for all of the dugouts on four fields, build a playground area near the ball field complex, erect a pavilion with picnic tables near the complex and add batting cages.

Officials said the city's parks board prioritized the list in case there wasn't enough money to complete all the things they wanted to do.

"We sat down and went through what the priorities were," Sisk said. "If we can't get all of it done, at least we've got priorities."

Mayor David Jackson said all of the projects will be paid out of the grant money, but Kimball hasn't received a contract from the state to begin using the money yet.

He estimates that just installing lights on the three ball fields will cost at least $180,000.

"I think [these projects] would just about take up all of the grant money that is available, but we can't do anything until we get that contract," he said. "If we get items one through four done and run out of money, items five and six will have to wait until next time."

The town has most of the specifications already in hand to bid out the work for each project when the contract has been completed, but Jackson said both boards will have to look closely at playground equipment and designs to decide what is best for their needs.

"You can spend $5,000, or you can spend $250,000," he said. "Playground equipment is just outrageous. It's unbelievable what [companies] charge for playground equipment."

Sisk said officials will try to design the playground area so adults can watch a ball game and their smaller children playing on slides and swings at the same time.

Completing the list will get the ball fields "up to par" and ready for use by leagues and tournaments, he said.

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