Dog park funding approved, Ashley improvements get OK
After several discussions, the Bryant City Council approved the use of $550,000 for improvements to two parks, including the construction of a new dog park.
Animal Control Director Tricia Powers said the Bryant dog park project has been in the works for six years and that she is excited about the new addition.
In a post on the Bryant Bark Park Project Facebook page, a representatives thanked the Bryant Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Allen Scott, the council and the team of volunteers.
“Our work is not quite done just yet ... but I look forward to seeing all of you at the leash cutting ceremony,” according to the post.
The new park will be under the Bryant Parks and Recreation Department umbrella, but Powers will advise the department on rules and regulations, she said.
Along with the construction of the new dog park, funding will also be used to complete the first phase of improvements to Ashley Park.
Because of the high demand for
baseball practice areas, the Parks Department would like to make Ashley Park a “premier baseball practice facility,” said Keith Cox, assistant director of recreation, in a previous meeting.
Proposed changes to this park include renovating fields with new fencing and lights, the addition of playground equipment and an indoor practice facility that can be converted to an indoor practice field or batting cages.
The playground could be used by residents living in the area or by siblings of athletes practicing.
The $550,000 in funding includes $300,000 from general fund savings and $250,000 from unused bond funding, according to Finance Director Joy Black.
“This is a really good first step,” said Parks Director Chris Treat. “We’re happy with this start.”
He noted that the department plans to start the dog park construction this summer.
“I know there are a lot of other things we can use this money for ... since we have been focusing on the heart of Bryant, the heart of Bryant is right here with these ball fields,” said Alderman R.J. Hawk. “This is great.”
The council discussed improvements for two intersections as well. City officials are planning to meet with Arkansas Department of Transportation officials about adding a left turning lane on Springhill Road for drivers after they have gone over the overpass.
The estimated cost for the project is $87,000.
Later in the meeting, the council voted to add an item to the agenda regarding improvements to the intersection of Reynolds and Hill Farm roads. A signal has been proposed at the intersection as well.
Because city officials would like to complete the project before the start of the 2019-20 school year, the council approved a request by city employees to waive the bid process.
Public Works Construction and Project Manager Ted Taylor told the council he would still get two quotes for the projects. The estimated cost is between $70,000 and $90,000.
After a discussion last month about a new yard waste pilot program, Mark Grimmett, director of Public Works, presented some written information regarding the program to the council.
This program will be discussed again in detail during an upcoming workshop.
Other approved items include:
•A request by Grimmett to auction unneeded equipment.
•The 2019 March year-todate financial report.
•An ordinance authorizing city employees to destroy unneeded city records.
•Amendment’s to the city’s rules and regulations for the Bryant Fire Department to include a new engineer position.
•Job description and compensation plans for planner and accounts payable technician positions.
•2019 Bryant Barracudas program agreements.
All meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.