Parks Commission hears updates on parks improvement projects

Parks and Recreation Director Angela Parker said Tuesday that currently available funds will not be enough to do all the work that the city would like done at Townsend Park, and Mayor Debe Hollingsworth has offered to look for additional money.

At a meeting of the Parks Commission, Parker said money has been secured to improve the lighting and a concession stand for the Little League field, but there was no funding at present to repair or replace the pavilions or do other improvements.

Plans have been made to demolish both the Little League and Tee Ball fields and redo them using prison labor, but Parker said that will be delayed until funds are found to make other improvements.

In her director’s report, the first since Parker and Community Centers Director Laura Hildreth were reinstated after being fired by the commission on Dec. 27, Parker said pre-fab work on restrooms at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Regional Park is expected to begin shortly, lasting four to six weeks. The contractors have until mid-May to complete the project.

Design work on the Lake Saracen Walking Trail has been turned in to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, and they are still working to finalize plans, the report said. When the project is begun, the Pine Bluff Street Department will be doing extra work on King Street, including adding new curbs and gutters and drainage improvements.

On another subject, the commission looked at bids from two different companies for burglar alarms at parks facilities and decided to ask the companies to provide more information on what was included in the prices quoted.