Though grant money for Hall County’s Field of Dreams project fell victim to the state’s budget cuts and delays, Hall County Parks and Leisure Director Greg Walker is confident the money will come, and asked the board of commissioners at Monday’s work session to borrow money until funds come in.
Walker proposed appropriating $300,000 from impact fees to continue construction on Field of Dreams, a handicap-accessible baseball field and a playground for children with physical and developmental disabilities at Alberta Banks Park.
Funds for the facility were approved at the state level, but payment has been delayed as the state decides how to deal with a massive budget shortfall.
"I feel strongly we will get that money," Walker said.
Walker also proposed naming the facility after Hall of Fame Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro, who Walker said was "very instrumental in allowing us to use his name in getting people involved in this."
Walker also requested funds for the Spout Springs "School in a Park," a multifield athletic complex at the unnamed new high school off Spout Springs Road, and Little League baseball fields at Spout Springs and East Hall.
The board of commissioners and the Hall County school board made an agreement in May to work together to create an athletic complex at the new school.
The complex would require $1.2 million from sales taxes and would include a $410,000 baseball field, a $330,000 softball field, a $230,000 tennis court and a $130,000 soccer field, Walker said.
"This is a continuation of Hall County parks and leisure’s mission to work with Hall County school system," Walker said.
Walker also presented a request for $1.1 million to build Little League fields at the Spout Springs athletic complex and East Hall Park.
"I have a problem with this," said Commissioner Bobby Banks. " We’re giving the school board $1.2 million to build a park, and now we’ve got to come up with another million for Little League baseball fields."
Banks said he would meet with the Hall County school board to discuss the matter, which will be voted on at Thursday’s board of commissioners meeting at 5 p.m.
"I hope it can be worked out," Banks said.