Corinth park expansion work to begin soon

town_corinth_greenBy Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Clearing and grubbing to develop about 25 acres of property on Droke Road, donated to the Crossroads Regional Park almost a decade ago, will be the first project in the park expansion and renovation soon to get under way.

Bids will be opened at the April 7 Board of Supervisors meeting from contractors wanting to perform the work, said Johnny Crotts of Cook Coggin Engineers.

The tourism council’s agreement last week to enter into an interlocal agreement with Alcorn County, the city of Corinth and the Crossroads Regional Park board was the last link in a financing arrangement for a $5.3 million dollar bond issue for the park expansion project.

However, the initial clearing and grubbing work will be completed with current park funds.

“We’re trying to make this $5.3 million go as far as we can and serve the greater need,” Crotts said.

There may yet be some final tweaking of the park design, Crotts said, but the current configuration includes adding:

• Five baseball/softball fields as a hub, with new dressing rooms, concession stand and handicap accessible restrooms.

• A new playground will be added near the new ball fields, in addition to an existing playground in the park.

• A soccer/football field. Placement is unclear right now, Crotts said, until property topography can be assessed after the clearing and grubbing work is done and the most suitable location can be determined.

• Two new handicap accessible restrooms to be constructed in the existing park area.

• A large parking area near the tennis courts, which has existing curbs and gutters and an unfinished rock surface, will be fully paved and some tennis courts will be rehabilitated.

Funding for the $5.3 million project would come from refinancing a Crossroads Arena construction bond that is due to be paid off in 2017.

The arena’s 1 percent from the tourism tax would continue to be used to make the regular bond payments, which is currently about $440,000 per year and would increase to $535,000 per year for 20 years.

An allocation of $200,000 per year from the tourism council’s 1 percent of the tourism tax would continue to be directed to arena operations, and any excess revenue from the arena’s portion of the tourism tax would accrue in a “bricks-and-mortar” fund for repairs and upkeep on the arena building.

Ongoing operational expenses for the park would come from funds the county and city have previously allocated in their budgets for the arena.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com