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Supervisors, Aldermen discuss new complex

Rendering courtesy of DUNGAN ENGINEERING

Rendering courtesy of DUNGAN ENGINEERING

The Lincoln County Supervisors and the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen got a first look at the drawings, plans and recommendations for the entrance and exit proposals regarding the new Lincoln Civic Center Sports Complex during their meetings yesterday at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

Dungan Engineering Principal Ryan Holmes presented a map with cost estimates to each board. These estimates were created out of a union of representatives appointed by each board: WGK Engineering Principal Mike McKenzie, Alderwoman-at-large Karen Sullivan, Alderman Randy Belcher, Recreation Department Director Terry Reid, District Two Supervisor Jimmy Diamond, County Administrator David Fields, William Kimble and Holmes.

From the recommendations made by the appointed committee, the Board of Supervisors accepted and offered several proposals for entrance and exit alternatives for the new Hansel King Sports Complex.

They committee would like to upgrade Hansel King Road and make improvements to Hansel King Loop at an estimated combined cost of $181,811 to be split 50/50 between the county and city at $90,905 each.

Improvements to Hansel King Loop include stripping, marking of handicap spaces and reinforcement of driving direction.

“Maximizing parking is important,” Holmes said about the lot available there and it’s tendency to overflow into non-paved areas. He said currently parking in the loop is usually determined by how the first person who arrived parks. Holmes said that marking the parking spaces in the loop will add about an extra 100 spots. The total would be approximately 290 spaces. He also said that the loop is a one-way. However, since it that is not currently properly marked there have been people driving in both directions.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Dungan Engineering Principal Ryan Holmes passes out maps and estimates regarding the future Lincoln County Sports Complex and the Hansel King Sports Complex during last night’s City Board meeting. At the meeting he delivered a proposal from the County Board of Supervisors concerning payment for recommendations about construction on the new complex.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Dungan Engineering Principal Ryan Holmes passes out maps and estimates regarding the future Lincoln County Sports Complex and the Hansel King Sports Complex during last night’s City Board meeting. At the meeting he delivered a proposal from the County Board of Supervisors concerning payment for recommendations about construction on the new complex.

The project would also include complete-grading improvements through a temporary construction easement with Lincoln County to cover this cost estimated at $87,564.

The land that the existing Hansel King Complex and future Lincoln County Sports Complex is on is owned by two entities: the city and the county. The city owns the land that houses the Hansel King Complex while the county owns the land housing the Lincoln County Sports Complex. The committee proposed upgrading the land between the two complexes in an effort to visually combine the two areas to further the perception that they are one entity.

The County requests that Hansel King Road be made public up to the entrance of the baseball complex. The County will participate in maintenance required on a 50/50 cost share with the city.

If the traffic conditions necessitate improvements on the County property, the county will make necessary improvements at that point in time. The County will evaluate the needs for a dedicated exit road annual after the completion of each baseball/softball season. The County committed to providing the best user experience to recreation facilities.

Members of the committee suggested a road to be built from the future Lincoln County Sports Complex to Belt Line Drive on the county’s property to ease with exit traffic from possible games held at both of the complexes at the same time. Currently the traffic exiting from the future Lincoln County Sports Complex would feed into Hansel King Road with could be hectic. The committee proposed adding a second road be built allowing separate exiting from the Lincoln County Sports Complex parking lot. However, Holmes said that this brought forth the biggest concern. There is a stream that runs along the property that committee members wanted to restore and rehabilitate and would require a bridge crossing to be built prior to road construction.

“We need permits to do both things on the stream, and you can’t stack permits,” Holmes said. He said they are allowed to do individual permits, but with their goal to be able to play baseball next year, waiting on approval of each permit would overstretch the time frame of the entire project.

“For the better good of the project and to keep everything on track we proposed doing one permit now and addressing the new road upon the completion of one baseball season,” Holmes said. County officials will review traffic behavior and concerns after that season and decide whether or not to add a second road. The estimated cost for the second road would be $180,556.

The County also said in its proposal that if the city accepts it the County is prepared through the county attorney to assist with developing easements and interlocal agreement.

William Kimble said that play at the future complex will be controlled by a two-part entity: a governing body and a support organization in the form of a scholarship foundation. Kimble said they’re proposing a baseball tournament committee appointed and under the control of the Lincoln County Civic Center. The committee would be given guidelines regarding how to run league play and travel ball, which will be a way to get tourists into the county and city. He said the committee will not be associated with the currently existing leagues – the A.L. Lott Program and the Dixie Youth Program. The committee has not been chosen yet. However there are volunteers who are working on initial organizing structure of league tournament play. Those people are McNair Smith, Dustin Walker and Beck Warren.

Kimble said Bill Sones and Brad Boerner are working on establishing a foundation to support the future facility that would fund a scholarship program for any child, who needs help paying for equipment or other league related items.

In its executive session, last night, the city board didn’t take any actions regarding the baseball complex and the county’s proposal.

Both city and county officials look forward to completion of a majority of the project by 2016 in time for next year’s baseball/softball season.

“The stronger Brookhaven is the stronger Lincoln County is,” Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop said citing that Brookhaven as the primary business area of the county.