(Chase Jordan / Sampson Independent)
GARLAND — The installation of a basketball court and other recreational opportunities came back up to the service recently.
Commissioner Carolyn Melvin thought her colleagues were ready to move forward with installing a basketball court, but she was not pleased with what happened next. After learning about a mishap in the recorded minutes which prevented the purchasing of concrete and equipment, Melvin made a motion to do so.
“That’s ridiculous to keep bringing stuff back to the board …,” Melvin said during her remarks to her colleagues. “We all walked out there, picked a spot.”
Mayor Winifred Murphy indicated that everyone agrees on moving forward with the project, but it was just a matter of making sure all of the steps are followed. Currently, more than $19,000 is available in the recreation fund.
After Commissioner Ralph Smith requested to see more information about the costs, Melvin said it would cost about $6,000 for cement, which she said was ready to be delivered to Garland. Commissioner S.J. Smith disapproved of the process and thinks the city should pay after the cement is poured down to build the court.
While discussing the process, Melvin showed frustration and indicated that the details have already been brought to the table.
“This is why I feel so frustrated when you ask me,” she said. “Because of something that’s a mishap, people are now looking at the town, and asking ‘what are we doing to the park?’”
Melvin continued and said “it’s always something,” referring to the holdup.
“However, I’m going to get that information gathered up again and bring it back to the board,” Melvin said.
Shortly afterwards, S.J. Smith said he spoke to residents who wanted to see the money spent on something for smaller children or youths. Melvin questioned Smith about how the court will not benefit people in that age group.
“Why do say that’s not for the young people,” Melvin said. “You have it in your mind or it seems to me that you think it’s going to be drug dealers or grown people out there. You have said in the past, that it’s not a great place for a basketball court. I don’t know why you’re so against it.”
S.J. Smith said the ideal location in the town’s park is behind the building and referenced his opinion regarding different age groups.
“Most of the time when you go to these basketball courts, the smaller children can not play because of the big people there,” the commissioner said.
He suggested improving the town’s baseball fields, a move he believes will benefit more children, and softball and or baseball leagues in town. But Melvin continued to advocate for the basketball project by bringing up Roseboro’s court.
“Roseboro has a nice basketball court and they’ve had theirs for years,” Melvin said. “When I drive by, I see young people playing out there.”
Melvin suggested that everyone should move forward all though it fell through the cracks the first time and is scheduled to make another proposal with detailed costs during an upcoming meeting.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.