City enters into agreement with App State for master plan of parks

Published 9:09 am Friday, July 14, 2017

Further improvements of two local parks can soon be on the horizon – with help coming across the state line.

The Elizabethton City Council voted unanimously to enter into an educational letter of agreement with Appalachian State University to develop a park feasibility study and master plan for improvements at Edwards Island Park and Covered Bridge Park for a cost of $10,000.

First approached with the idea by the Elizabethton IDEAS Group, the city’s Parks and Recreation welcomed Jason Miller – Building Science program director with the Department of Sustainable Technology and Built Environment at Appalachian State – for a tour of both parks in March.

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With the agreement in place, the university will offer the services of 13 senior students are pursuing engineering and three certified engineers to develop the study and plans for both parks.

The scope of the services provided by the University include:

• Research and Development of a Design and Action Plan for the Project

• Provide Beautification of Both Parks

• Promote the History of Natural Resources of the City of Elizabethton

• Provide Educational Opportunities

• Have Recreational Programs and Events and Promote Scenic Aspects of Both Parks

• Identify Funding Sources

• Develop Cost Effective Measures That Would Lower Burden of Maintenance Expenses

• Reduce Overall Liability Concerns

• Identify Roles of Volunteers and Partner Organizations

Chris Little, IDEAS Group founder, told Council members that it would be hard to utilize the number of engineers available with the agreement for anything less than $10,000.

The project is being broken up into five phases. Along with development, Little added the study and master plan opens up the opportunity for grant funding to come in, alluding to the fact Jonesborough recently received $600,000 from a beautification grant provided by TDEC.

Various improvements are on tap for the park, including lighting around the Covered Bridge, the park itself, and different pieces of work to Edwards Island.

The idea of the master plan and study is to engage tourists to stay in the community longer and promote what the city has, Little added. The IDEAS Group has worked on different projects in the community, including a river access point in Hampton and is working to provide parking opportunities at the Blue Hole in the Stoney Creek community.


In other business,

• City Council issued a proclamation of support for Carter County Drug Prevention’s actions to help raise awareness for opioid abuse. Jilian Reece, CCDP director, invited the public to attend an upcoming town hall about the issue scheduled for August 1 at 6:30 p.m. at T.A. Dugger Junior High. The event is being led by Danny Smith.

• Council member Sam Shipley brought forth the idea to repeal shooting fireworks within the city.

• Mayor Curt Alexander discussed the ability of the city to pull resources together for a united fleet of vehicles during a discussion about replacing vehicles with Water Resources Manager Johan Coetzee.

• Council voted unanimously to approve the grant contract for the public library to utilize $8,428.32 for improvements inside the building.

  During public comments, citizen Jenett Morgan addressed Council about TCA 8-47-101, discussing officials being removed for misconduct, and stated citizens had addressed a concern about the laws not being enforced for past transgressions of Alexander and Council member Richard Tester.