Work set to start on new soc­cer fields in Cedar­town

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - CEDAR­TOWN By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

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.

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