Horseshoe pits to be added at Riverside Park

By Julie Fann
Star staff

The Elizabethton Parks and Recreation board on Monday agreed to add an additional six horseshoe pits to the Riverside Park site, bringing the total to 15 pits. The Tennessee Horseshoe Pitchers Association has agreed to donate $5,000 toward the project in preparation for the state tournament to be held at Riverside Park in September.
   Carter County Work Camp members and other citizens, including Carl Hyder and Shannon Foster, will pave the pavilion for the upcoming event. Mike Mains, Parks and Recreation board director, said that the board needed to set short-range goals for the project due to a limited budget until July 1. Although a roof for the pavilion is not needed for the state tournament, Carl Hyder said that other groups have expressed a need for a roof, one of them being senior citizens.
   "Our seniors who come down there have a hard time in the heat during the summer," he said. Mains suggested the board generate ways to obtain money for a pavilion roof. The board mentioned that, in 1997, a couple of area businesses had offered money for the roof and wanted the city to match it. Mains wants to make sure that the structure is sound and built properly. He said that the budget currently had $17,000 available for pavilion improvements. The board also discussed the addition of more convenient bathroom facilities, more attractive landscaping, and more bleachers in preparation for the state tournament.
   Board members also discussed whether or not the city should charge a fee to schools other than Elizabethton High School which wants to use the city's baseball field for its games. Unaka High School recently inquired about using the city's baseball field for its district tournament. The board decided they will first consult other area cities that host minor league baseball teams and ask them if they let county schools use their fields. Based on that information, they will make a decision at their next meeting.
   Other pertinent issues on the agenda were:
   * Approval of 2002 City Pool rates which are unchanged from last year. Mains said that, except for draining the pool, the city is ready for the season to begin. Parks and Recreation employees will interview potential lifeguards soon.
   * Approval of fees for the use of Recreation Center rooms. The board agreed that use of the non-profit meeting room should remain free of charge, even though other area cities charge non-profit groups to use their rooms.
   * Recognition of $5,000 worth of material maintenance performed on local schools' baseball fields. Due to excessive rain, some schools have been using city fields. For example, T.A. Dugger has been using the Blackbottom field, and Happy Valley Junior High has been using Lion's field.
   * Recognition of re-seeding completed at Kiwanis Park lawn.
   * Recognition of completed construction of a concession center and souvenir stand, as well as concrete walks, at the Recreation Center.
   Mains requested that the city be aware that their tax dollars won't go toward the second reconstruction of the Recreation Center floor. The center will soon re-bid for a new contractor because the initial contractor didn't allow room for the floor to expand. Mains said this project "hasn't cost taxpayers one dime."