Glynn County Commissioners agreed Thursday to commit $40,000 to turn the former baseball field at Paulk Park in the Arco neighborhood of Brunswick into a soccer field, as well as to construct a well to irrigate the field.
Commissioner Bob Coleman suggested county staff revisit the plans for the park before starting work on it. Since the county will be spending money on sod for the field, he said there should be something more secure protecting the field than the proposed fence, which he said wouldn’t prevent cars from driving over the sod.
People driving in parks and tearing up the grass has happened on a number of occasions lately, he added.
Rebuilding Together of Glynn County, Commissioner Allen Booker’s nonprofit, will contribute $28,000 to the project. The total cost of the project is $67,740, and includes sod for the field, a well, irrigation equipment, fencing, a parking area, signs and soccer goals.
Commissioner Richard Strickland made a motion to approve the spending, which will come from the county’s capital projects fund balance.
“I’d also like to applaud Commissioner Booker’s moving forward with this. It’s been a long time since anything like this has happened in the Arco area,” Strickland said.
The motion to approve passed 7-0.
The soccer field is just the first phase. Booker also wants to build a restroom facility, as well as purchase bleachers, team benches and playground equipment for the park. Phase two is estimated to cost $183,500.
Recreation and Parks Department Manager Lisa Gurganus said the Sea Island Foundation has expressed interest in Arco revitalization, and may donate $12,000 to build the well. It has made no commitment yet, however.
Renovating Paulk Park is just the beginning of an Arco revitalization effort Booker has said he wants to complete. He hopes to improve a park in Brunswick Villas as well, and use the two parks as anchors to revitalize the entire neighborhood.
In other business, the commission voted to send a special use permit for an event venue on the north end of St. Simons Island back to the Islands Planning Commission, because the IPC didn’t make a formal decision on the permit.
County Attorney Aaron Mumford said the IPC denied a motion to recommend the county commission approve the permit, which does not equal a recommendation to deny. It was previously reported the planning commission had voted to recommend denial of the permit.
A motion to recommend approval of the permit with conditions was denied 3-4 at the IPC meeting on Feb. 20.
Commissioners also approved a sign variance for Pet Supplies Plus and approved the minutes for their last meeting pending necessary corrections due to complaints from members of the public about the accuracy and detail of statements made during public hearings.
The next meeting of the Glynn County Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 15 in the Old Glynn County Courthouse, 701 G St. in Brunswick.