City and County

Directors to consider razing Sturgis Field, widening Feaster Trail

Firm redraws plans for proposed airport terminal

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

The Arkadelphia Board of Directors will have a full agenda during its regular meeting Tuesday.

“We had hoped to erect an historical marker on site to denote all the activities that have occurred on this spot over the years.”

— City Manager Gary Brinkley

Following the second reading of an ordinance vacating Butler and Cass streets, two planned but never developed city streets, directors will consider a resolution allowing administration to pursue a grant that would fund improvements to Feaster Trail.

Should the city receive the 80/20 federal matching grant, the improvements would add 1,000 feet of a new concrete path, 10 feet wide from North 10th to 12th Street. The trail now is a 5-foot-wide asphalt path that’s “not wide enough to accommodate” the number of bikers and pedestrians who regularly use the trail, according to City Manager Gary Brinkley.

A group of walkers chat at the 15th Street trailhead to Feaster Trail. The City of Arkadelphia is eyeing a grant that would resurface and widen the trail between 10th and 12th streets, as well as add a gravel shoulder from 15th to 26th streets. | The Arkadelphian/Joel Phelps

The grant would also add a gravel shoulder to widen the asphalt path between 15th and 26th streets. The grant deadline is June 1. The city would be responsible for funding 20 percent of the project, and Brinkley noted the improvements are in line with promises made in the Moving Arkadelphia Forward campaign.

City ward proposals
Following a “quick” presentation, directors are also set to consider approving a set of proposed city ward boundaries for future elections.

Airport terminal
At a recent meeting Brinkley brought directors up to date on the prospect of erecting a new airport terminal at Dexter Florence Memorial Field, having a $400,000 pledge from the Department of Aeronautics. The lowest bid to take on that project came from the Sparkman-based Seale Construction Company, which initially offered to do the job for $1.2 million.

A rendering of the proposed airport terminal.

Using “value” engineering, Seale has since lowered its bid to $650,000. Without changing the square footage of the proposed facility, the new design uses far less steel, reduces HVAC systems, includes fewer windows and alters the ADA-compliant access to use less concrete.

The Municipal Airport Advisory Committee is in agreement with the new design.

Sturgis Field
It’s one, two, three strikes and the old baseball park on South 12th Street is out. The field, apparently in a state of “disrepair for years,” has not been used regularly for at least three years, Brinkley noted in a memo to directors. The fencing is deteriorating, the buildings are dilapidated and there are sinkholes in the field caused by collapsed drainage systems.

Brinkley wants the buildings, stands and fencing gone to make it easier to mow the property.

“We had hoped to erect an historical marker on site to denote all the activities that have occurred on this spot over the years,” Brinkley said in the memo. “Regrettably, we have had little success determining the facts. We would hope that with this announcement we could get the community to provide us with historical facts that could be incorporated into a future historical marker.”

Directors to ‘tackle’ fees
Given its amount of participation and the outdated equipment players use, fees to enroll in the city’s Tackle Football program may be increasing from $80 to $125.

The Parks & Recreation program had in the past been able to borrow equipment and jerseys from Arkadelphia High School’s Badger football program, but because of the latter’s growing numbers that is no longer the case for the city.

The fees have not changed since 2012.

Pine Street or MLK Boulevard?
Doug Nelson, listing himself as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, is set to again address directors regarding his plight to change the name of Pine Street in honor of the late Civil Rights icon.

Nelson last addressed the city board during its April 19 meeting, showing up to the meeting with several others and scolding directors for ignoring the “unfinished business” the late Henry Wilson tried for years to accomplish.

When and where
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Boardroom of Town Hall, 700 Clay St., Arkadelphia. City board meetings are open to the public.

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