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‘Missing piece’ delay’s action on athletic fields

By SERINA MARSHALL Staff Writer

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Washington County Commissioners voted 9 to 5 Monday night to defer further action on a resolution to complete work on athletic fields at the Boones Creek School.

The Washington County Board of Education had requested that the county spend up to $2,035,908 from the capital projects fund to finish the project that will include concession stands and restrooms.

“We started on this project in 2016 and inflation has taken its toll on the money we were going to put into this project,” said Commissioner Phil Carriger.

Commissioner Greg Matherly added that the budget committee did not make a recommendation on the resolution.

“The reason being is there is a missing piece still in this resolution, and its about a million dollars,” Matherly said. “So, that’s the missing piece, and we need to fill that blank in and where

its coming from. We need to consider a contractor as well and we need a plan on that.”

Even with the contribution from the school board of up to $2 million, Commissioner Jim Wheeler was concerned they wouldn’t actually get what was presented on the plan.

“Will we still be getting the soccer field, the track field? We discussed two softball fields, two baseball fields and the con- cession building with the restrooms is really contingent on the county board of education.”

The commission started out with close to $5 million for the initial project, but with inflation taking its toll, the project never got past the discussion point, according to Carriger.

“This project has dragged on for much too long. Six years later, this is where we are. And about $1 million is what we need,” he said. “And there is no source of the million at this time. The only thing mentioned by the board of education was a property trade.”

The motion to defer the vote until the commission’s July meeting was made by Commissioner Danny Edens.

Edens said that the Washington County Board of Education can consider the request from the county at their next meeting to commit to funding the $1 million needed to complete construction of the athletic venue, including score- boards, concessions and restrooms.

Earlier in the evening, Director of Schools Jerry Boyd told commissioners the school board had concerns about who would head the upkeep of the sporting venue and asked to see a written inter-local agreement addressing those specific issues.

Commissioners approved a resolution last year authorizing the spending of $2.1 million in the capital projects fund to complete work on the final phase at the school.

In 2019, commissioners also approved $875,000 for the first phase of the estimated $3.2 million project.