The Vilonia City Council will spend about $16,500 on getting the city park ready for spring use.
The council approved Tuesday night the completion of several projects at the park including replacing lights, installing a full netting enclosure in the concession stand area, dirt and dozer work on the soccer fields and purchasing four picnic tables for the concession area.
Mayor James Firestone recommended the projects to the council. Expenditures included paying $3,000 for a netting enclosure and $700 each for the picnic tables, $6,000 for light work and $4,000 for dirt work. There is about $31,880 in the parks and recreation account, he told the council.
"It’s a lot of the money to spend but I think we need to do it," he added. "It’s going to make a big difference."
In response, alderman Jim King said "I move we do all of that," and it was followed by a unanimous vote by all six council members.
Firestone also told the council that additional work has been going on at the park this week including the installation of a new sewer line to the existing restrooms and the closing of an unauthorized area that has been utilized as a road. It was said that most of the short-term goals set during a workshop held earlier in the month agreed on by council members and the Vilonia Sports Association, have been completed.
At the workshop, Firestone estimated there was about $43,000 in the park account with the majority coming from a sales tax passed in Nov. 2008. Firestone estimated that between $5,000 and $6,000 per month has been going into the account.
The remainder of the 30-minute council meeting was primarily used for discussion. VSA recreation director Marcy McCroskey addressed the council reporting that a pump on an ice machine will eventually need to be replaced. The ice machine, she said, is not a critical piece of equipment but is used for holding ice to treat injuries.
Also, there were department reports including:
• Police Dept. Chief Brad McNew told the council they have had an officer out sick but now the officer is back and they are at full staff.
• Vilonia Sports Association. McCroskey said 491 children are signed up to participate in spring sports at the park. As a result of the Park Clean Up Day, held March 13, she said concession stands and bathrooms have been sanitized and maintenance on the pitching machines has been done.
Also, she said, VSA is in the process fundraising blitz with Coca Cola. Businesses as well as individuals, she said, may purchase a case of 20-ounce drinks for $22 from VSA with the organization receiving a portion of the funds at the end of the year. Contact concessions manager Angela Alexander to order, she said.
The spring season, she said, begins March 27, with soccer holding the season opener. A calendar of baseball and softball play should be available, she said, in the near future. Opening night practice games begin March 30. Also, she said the Vilonia Classic baseball tournament will be held April 16-18 and the Tri-County 14-under leg June 4-6 and a Soccer ASSA Fun Day open to the community in May and June depending on the soccer fields.
• Vilonia Area Chamber of Commerce. Debbie Townsend, president, said the chamber board is accepting applications to fill the job of executive officer with a March 31 deadline. Also, she reported the annual banquet resulted in a net profit of $2,100 and the beauty pageant resulted in a net profit of $4,000. The organization, she said, has 76 business members plus some individual members.
• Senior Citizens. Art Pischke encouraged the council to attend a recycling program to be held at 10 a.m., Friday, to be presented by Angie Howard, recycling coordinator for the city of Conway.
• Code enforcement. Firestone said there has been two building permits issued in March, one duplex and a single family dwelling.