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City supports county efforts to obtain grant for Barber Park

City leaders are supporting the Grady County Commission’s efforts to seek a grant to help defray the cost of improvements to the Barber Park recreation facility, including the construction of a splash pad at the park.
Last Monday night, the Cairo Mayor and Council heard a request from Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar to provide in-kind labor for the installation of a new sewer lift station at Barber Park and to tie it into the existing force main. A larger lift station is needed to accommodate new restroom facilities and the splash pad, according to Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton.
This is the second Barber Park project in two years that the city has teamed up with the county to complete. The city also provided in-kind services for a new lighting project completed at the park earlier this year.
According to Tobar, the county will be responsible for the cost of materials and other related costs.
City Manager Addleton reminded Tobar that the project would need to be designed and engineered before the city could do the installation.
“In order for the sewer to gravity flow the sewer vault will have to be placed deeper into the ground (than the existing vault),” Addleton said.
Tobar said the work would not be put out to contract until Oct. 2016 if the grant is funded and work likely would not begin until 2017.
“We are seeking your assistance in getting this grant. Politicians love when the city and county are working together. It’s been eye opening for me to see how much support we get when we do collaborate from outside agencies and politicians,” Tobar said.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas asked for an estimated cost of the city’s labor contribution and how much time it would take to complete the city’s portion of the project.
Neither Tobar nor Addleton could put a dollar figure on the cost of the estimated labor contribution, but the city manager projected it would take public works crews three to five days to complete.
“It would be nice to have an idea of the cost,” Douglas said before offering a motion to issue a letter of support to the county stipulating the council’s desire to provide the requested in-kind labor on the project.
Tobar said the overall project estimate is $377,000, which covers the splash pad, new restrooms, and an adult work out area. The county administrator is seeking $100,000 from the Department of Natural Resources 2015 Land Water Conservation Fund for the project and $50,000 in donations. The remaining $227,000 needed for the project would come out of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Proceeds earmarked for an aquatic center.
Previously, the county commission had voted to construct the splash pad at Tired Creek Lake, but recently voted to shift the project to Barber Park.
According to Tobar, the splash pad is a joint city and county project and once the project is complete the city and county will have to come to an agreement on how to disburse the remaining funds appropriated for the proposed aquatic center approved by the voters in the 2008 SPLOST.
In related news, City Manager Addleton publicly thanked the Grady County Road Department for their assistance in pulling ditches and reworking the dirt portion of 11th Avenue N.W. recently. “Road Superintendent Stanley Elkins and his crew did a great job and we thank the county for doing that,” Addleton said.
Councilman Kermit Gilliard passed on a request he had received for the city to pave that section of 11th Avenue and Councilman Ernest Cloud said he recently mentioned to county administrator Tobar about a joint city and county effort to pave the unpaved portion of the street.

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