Garland is seeking to revitalize its park in an effort to bring local people to the facilities and others into the town — and it will be seeking some assistance from the county.
During the upcoming budget process, Mayor Winifred Murphy said she plans to present a resolution to the county for funds to aid in some town expenses. “They don’t have a lot of money, but we don’t either,” said Murphy at a Garland Board of Commissioners meeting this week.
Commissioner Matthew Register said recreation was a key need, and there were strides the town was trying to make to improve the amenities at its park. The issue has been discussed and commissioners have talked about pricing shelters, tables and grills for the park however nothing has yet to be purchased.
Register said soccer goals were also desperately needed.
“I’d like to request some soccer goals. I don’t know what we need to ask, but when we’re talking about the picnic tables and grills, I think we need to ask the county for that money first before we even think about spending that money,” Register said. “We’re talking almost $1,200 just for grills and picnic tables. If we could get $700 toward that, we’re saving ourselves money.”
Register said while other things are needed and are on the town’s radar — even in the budget — items such as grills, tables and soccer goals could go a long way toward improving the park.
“We’re trying to get things going back at the park,” said Register. “That’s helping the town. I’ve looked and we’re looking at probably $600 a goal for soccer goals. It’s not like there’s a big market for used ones. I went out there and looked at them to see if there was any way we could refurbish the ones we have. We just can’t.”
The expense would be bring marked improvement to an area that gets a great deal of use, he said.
“One of the things in the park that is used more than anything, other than the walking track, is the soccer field,” said Register. “And we’ve talked about grills and stuff, that is a way to bring in income. I don’t know how other commissioners feel about it, but that’s something I’d like to do. I’d like to try to at least get money. It’s better to ask first before we spend.”
Murphy agreed with that assessment, and the fact that the park was a vital facility that, if cared for and invested in, could pay off for the community and the town.
“That’s a very vital park for our young people, because right now we have nothing,” said Murphy. “Several years ago the town and the county just kind of went their separate ways in terms of recreation, but we do need something back. We’re still struggling financially with all the other issues, water and sewer and in other areas, and recreation is a critical need.”
Murphy said she would be drafting a resolution to the county in the coming weeks, and asked that commissioners think about any pressing needs to be included in the resolution. The recreation requests would be noted.
“It is important for our young people, especially in view that the schools are not here,” the mayor said. “And in the afternoon on Saturdays during the summer, we need something that will keep them busy and having positive things to do.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.