County Facilities Manager Alana Roberts told the county commission’s Parks Committee Tuesday that she and County Mayor Melville Bailey were recently approached by the TVA about a new no-match grant which must be used for water recreation at a county park.
Roberts and Bailey determined that, in order to meet the criteria, the $10,000 grant is most needed at the Laurel Run Park boat ramp, located on the far western end of the property.
Park Manager Joe Lindsey noted that the existing ramp has a drop-off at the end, which is about 18 inches when the water level is low.
Lindsey said one boater had torn the axle off his boat trailer after backing off the end of the slab.
Another problem with the current ramp is that it has a bit of a “hook,” as opposed to being straight into the river, Lindsey told the committee.
“As I understand, (the TVA is) working on the design, and then they’ll actually do the work,” Roberts told the committee. “If not, if they provide us with the $10,000, then we’ll probably have to find somebody. They’ll probably have a recommendation for the person who needs to come in and do that.”
There was no timeline available for when that work might begin.
County parks proposed 2018-19 budget discussed
On Tuesday, the Parks Committee voted to recommend a 2018-19 parks budget which is very similar to the current budget with only a couple of exceptions.
The committee agreed to cut a little more than $4,000 from the part-time employee line item which wasn’t spent in the current fiscal year. Roberts explained that this line item is overestimated in case extra funds are needed for emergencies.
The committee also voted to recommend the purchase of a front-end loader not to exceed $8,000. Lindsey noted that the loader is badly needed for heavy lifting, such as when large rocks fall down the mountain into the park.
Roberts noted that the current fiscal year parks budget is expected to return about $20,000 in unspent funds to the county general fund.
The proposed 2018-19 parks budget will be considered by the Budget Committee and full commission when they begin meeting jointly to work on next year’s budget in May.