Mains: Franklin Pool, sinking ball field top recreation budget needs

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains appeared before Elizabethton City Council on Tuesday with a $2.4 million budget request that included needs and “wish list” projects.

Councilman Jeff Treadway asked Mains if he had a top three what they would be.

“Something has to be done to the Franklin Pool, as the last time it was lined was in 1998,” said Mains. “Pool paint has increased from $3,500 to $7,500. We estimate it will take $390,000 for the project which would have to be done at the end of the season because we need to get opened by the end of May.

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“Also, the infield at Joe O’Brien Field needs to be redone. The last time it was done was in 2001 and the field is sinking – not to create any danger, but sinking. It will take $66,000 to redo the field. We have looked and it would take $1.2 million to turf the entire facility.”

Finally, being able to secure the former Franklin Fitness Center is critical, as more negotiations are to come as well as a tour of the building on Wednesday.

“We need to sit down and look at what we can do with that building,” said Mains. “We consider it as a long-term answer for our department. We will have it inspected and are excited about the land that is available behind the building for a potential multi-use center.”

Other items that Mains brought before the council for funding included:
– Renovations of the pavilions at Cat Island Park from the ground up at a cost of $36,000.
– Surf Betsy which should have a report presented in about two to three weeks on how to proceed.
– Hampton Watershed Bike and Hiking Trail with phase one beginning on Wednesday at a cost of $75,000 paid for by the county. Phase 2 will cost between $150 to $175,000 while Phase 3 would total around $550,000 to complete a Bike Skills Park and Ramp-Up track.
– A total of 35 events scheduled for the new year.
– Covered Bridge Park which comes with a price tag of $1.25 million which is being funded by a grant and a match from the city.
– Tom Cowan property which was listed with a $1 million price tag.

The next Elizabethton City budget workshop is at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4.