GARLAND — With a sprinkler system watering grass, a vision to build a park in the middle of town is making progress.
“It’s coming up really good,” Commissioner Judy Smith said about the sodded ground. “We had these nice rains with the big thunderstorms.”
But Smith and town leaders would like to add playground equipment soon to the site officially called Curtis D. Cain Memorial Park. But a foundation has to be established first. The 1.39 acres of property on South Bladen Avenue, near the post office, was donated by Connie Cain Rackley — the daughter of former commissioner and entrepreneur Curtis Cain.
Now, the town is waiting for Duke Energy officials to run power into the park for lights and other maintenance issues such as running a sprinkler system which does not have to be manually operated. The system was installed in late June.
“They’re going to run pole lights down through the center of the park,” Smith said. “Before we can start to bring the equipment in, the power needs to get in there. The lighting needs to be set up, then we can know how to arrange the equipment.”
During a previous meeting, Smith presented bids from a couple of businesses for swing sets and the idea of renovating abandoned equipment left behind when Head Start left Garland. Smith said a playground inspector may come in to check if the items are feasible for use.
“With it being a public park, it would need to pass an inspection,” Smith said.
Smith plans to present an update and more estimates during an August meeting. By that time, she hopes the power will be ready for the park.
“We’ll be ready to move forward by just putting some equipment in the park,” Smith said.
Also, Smith would like to add more for visitors, such as trash receptacles and picnic tables for a portion of the park behind the post office.
“It’s going to move forward and move forward quickly,” Smith said the process once everything gets going.
The estimated cost of the playground is between $10,000 and $12,000. As a way to raise money, Smith said fund raisers and grants may come in the future. She said it’s a good way to get the involved in the project.
“We want to fill it up with nice equipment,” Smith said. “We really want to put in a basketball court on the far end.”
Talks regarding the sports facility has been a topic of discussion for quite some time.
“We know that we’re going have to raise money for it and we know it’s not in the budget,” Smith said.
An official completion date has not been announced for the opening, but Smith is looking forward to its completion. She admitted that it may with come with some financial obstacles as well.
“A lot of times, that’s what makes a community come together,” Smith said about having a cause to rally around.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.