GARLAND – Town officials are moving forward with their efforts to improve recreation in the area.
The Garland Board of Commissioners approved funding for basketball goals and softball equipment. Funding for those improvements will come from the parks and recreation budget, which must be spent before the next budget cycle, which begins July 1.
“I hate to see funds just thrown away,” Commissioner Carolyn Melvin said in discussing the recreation revamp.
Melvin presented the idea to put up three basketball goals in the park, which would cost about $3,900. The estimated cost to install cement for a court is $5,000.
“If you want to get something that’s going to last the test of time, you’re going have to spend some money,” Melvin said.
During a previous meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Haywood Johnson presented a similar idea for a basketball area.
Commissioner S.J. Smith said he wanted to see about $3,000 worth of improvements for softball and baseball fields, noting his belief that those efforts were being ignored.
Mayor Winifred Murphy said the elected officials should work together to meet the needs of both sports.
“I know we need both, but it’s just a matter of how to allocate those funds,” Murphy said.
According to city officials, more than $8,000 is currently sitting in the parks and recreation budget.
Commissioner Ralph Smith said the board has approved basketball goals twice already.
“If they’ve been approved so many times, how come we have nothing?” Melvin questioned.
To be fair, Commissioner Denise Toler made a motion to divide the funds between the two ideas, so there were no hard feelings. It was approved unanimously.
The issues resulted in conflict and disagreements, but Toler said such actions should be made for children in town when commissioners are making decisions.
The time frame for construction has not been set.