Work set to start on new soccer fields in Cedartown
Cedartown City Manager Bill Fann said it best during the latest Commission session: “my lordy, finally.”
It took two years and lots of time back and forth between local, state and federal officials, but the way is now clear for construction to begin on the first phase of Cedartown’s soccer complex.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the state bid price for construction on the facility for $180,082.14, which will provide two new soccer fields in the first of three phases of development at the Goodyear Park site on West Avenue.
Prime Contractors, who also completed work for the city previously on the Big Spring water plant, won the state bid.
“I’m so happy this is finally in our hands, and they actually agreed and the state approved of the bid,” Fann said.
The start of that process began in 2017 when the city initially began the process of trying to get a Land and Water Conservation grant to help pay for the project and was approved nearly two years ago, but everything wasn’t finalized until late in 2018. That’s when executed agreements were finalized and approved and documents sent onward to Washington, D.C. for one last review.
“As most things that involve federal dollars, it became quite a task just to get all the paperwork and approvals necessary to get everything done,” Fann said.
Then there was an additional hiccup along the way: when the city sent in their forms, they had specifically noted the grant was earmarked for the creation of the soccer complex. When they received a cover document back from the federal government who controls the funds and how they are used for the grant program, there was an inexplicable change in the language. Soccer somehow was changed to softball, Fann said.
“We had to go back so they could change a single word,” Fann said.
The additional delays of a government shutdown and backlog of work for federal employees who oversee the programs meant that final approval for the bids to be accepted by all and to get going on the project fell back to just a few weeks
ago on March 24.
Fann said so long as weather cooperated, it was his expectation the work on the soccer complex could get underway in the next few months and likely be completed before year’s end.
Commission Chair Matt Foster said the decision to approve the bid and get contractors on the ground was going to make at least one person happy in the crowd during the April 8 meeting: Cedartown boys
soccer coach Kevin King.
The fields also will benefit the growing soccer program within the City of Cedartown’s Recreation department, which for the time being is utilizing football fields at Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Center to play.
One item already cleared from the park space was a large oak tree cut down in 2018 that was dying and needed to be removed to clear the way for the forthcoming complex.