By Lee Weyhrich
PINSON — The Pinson City Council last Thursday voted on a resolution to accept a bid for $277,850 from J.A. Dawson Equipment to install the splash pad and playground equipment at the new city park, but not without some controversy.
Councilman Robbie Roberts has been pushing for the council to look into KaBOOM!, a nonprofit playground equipment group that believes it could get the equipment for around $25,000, almost half of the $56,000 quoted by J.A. Dawson. Under the KaBOOM! program, the equipment would be installed by local volunteers, which would further keep the costs down.
“I’m not in favor of this because I believe that Jane (Ross, the architect from Goodwyn Mills Cawood) was going to come back and talk to us about KaBOOM!,” Roberts said. “And we haven’t had a chance to hear on that.”
Roberts worried about how much the project has expanded since November 2013. These expansions have brought the total price of the park up $345,000 so far, Roberts said. He also believes the volunteer labor was a good way to get the community invested in the park.
Councilwoman Dawn Tanner worried that a volunteer force could be less timely and reliable than a contractor. Mayor Hoyt Sanders shared that opinion. Roberts was the only member of the city council to vote against the resolution.
The park will be located near Center Point Parkway between Sweeney Hollow Road and Glen Brook Road in Pinson. The city council hopes the park will be able to be opened in conjunction with Pinson’s 200th anniversary as a community in 2015. Councilman John Churchwell made a motion at the council’s first March meeting to have the Enhancement Committee begin planning the event. The motion was accepted unanimously.
The city council did vote unanimously to go with a $2 million — plus related costs — bond through Joe Jolly and Co, Inc. to pay for the park construction. Once the related costs have been determined, the city council will enter into a final agreement on the issue.