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Garrison Park’s opening day may be further delayed following a chemical accident last week that led to a hazardous materials response.

Garrison Park’s opening day may be further delayed following a chemical accident last week that led to a hazardous materials response.

No one was injured, but Crossville Fire Department personnel spent several hours on scene at the park at the corner of Miller Ave. and Fourth St. A chemical company from Knoxville was called to assist.

City Manager Greg Wood told the Chronicle Friday, “It could possibly hold things up for repairs.”

The incident is still under investigation; however, Wood said there may have been a mix-up in the chemical tanks. Fire department personnel removed the contaminated 15-pound tank, which will have to be replaced. 

“I’m waiting on our insurance company and an accident investigator before I reach out to the company,” Wood said.

The incident was the latest in a series of delays at the renovated park. 

Wood told the Crossville City Council last Tuesday a sticking restroom door was holding up opening the long-awaited park.

“They’ve worked on it and worked on it,” Wood said.

Americans with Disabilities Act standards require the door to open with no more than 5 pounds of force. Wood said the door is swelling in the afternoon heat, causing it to stick.

Friday, Wood said the door was being addressed.

Councilman Scot Shanks said, “It would be a shame if we can’t get it going. Right now is when it needs to be open.”

The project to renovate the former ball park began in the winter of 2017 with demolition of the old grandstand. 

In March, the council approved a $343,211 bid from Recreational Concepts for the splash pad and $114,173 for playground equipment and installation from Landscape Structures Inc. In July, Freitag Construction of Crossville was awarded the bid for site work, restrooms, the equipment room and concrete work with a bid of $554,440.

The approximately $1 million project is funded with a $500,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation with matching funds from the city.

The playground includes accessible facilities to provide recreation for all children, including an Omni Spinner funded by local Rotary Clubs. 

While the original project timeline called for completion in April, heavy rain over the winter hampered progress. The city received an extension from the state for the contractor complete the work.

Wood said the state is still holding more than $100,000 in grant funds.

Once the project has garnered state approval, Wood said the park will open and work will begin on a new fence along the Miller Ave. side of the park.

The state required all fencing at the park to be taken down as part of the grant; however, the proximity of the four-lane highway beside the park has concerned city council members since before the project began.

Wood said the fence was out for bids and temporary construction fencing would be used until it is installed.

“The big thing is to keep kids or balls from going into the street,” Wood said.

Other recreation projects are also moving forward. The council approved a $29,827.50 bid for asphalt repair at the Centennial Park basketball courts and a $61,462.50 bid for paving of the walking trails at Centennial Park. Both bids were submitted by Freitag Construction.

The city had budgeted $45,000 for the paving project, and a budget amendment was also approved on first reading.

Also approved was a bid from The Feed Store in Crossville for grass seed to be used at Centennial Park and Duer Soccer Complex. The business bid $5,777.50 for the annual purchase. This was $271.10 higher than Sigma Organics; however, park staff said they had experienced problems with germination of grass seed from that supplier in the past and recommended The Feed Store bid, instead.

The bids and budget amendment were part of the city’s monthly consent agenda, which was unanimously approved following a motion from Mayor James Mayberry supported by Shanks.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.