Moulton Parks and Recreation director Jackie Burch addressed the Moulton City Council in its work session Monday and requested to complete minor projects at H.A. Alexander Park before the final stages of an expansion project begin.
Burch told the Council major projects that still have to be complete could cost $1.5 to $2 million, which include the construction of a control building, lighting and sewer connections for the building, and the construction of concession stands and bathrooms.
“The project has still got to be bid,” Burch said. He told the Council the $1.5 million was a “broad estimate.”
Expansion of the park, which began in November of 2015, is being paid for out of the city’s alcohol tax fund. Mayor Roger Weatherwax said alcohol taxes revenue approximately $220,000 each year.
“The ballfields, obviously the sooner we can get them ready to use, the better, but I don’t know if the money builds up quick enough to go ahead and do a bond or something—we need a plan to finish those ballfields off,” District 5 Councilman Brent White said.
District 2 Councilman Jason White asked whether revenues brought in enough to make monthly payments on project work.
Weatherwax said it could take 60 to 65 percent of the alcohol tax fund to make a single payment.
“Our auditor wants us to wait until the new year (on the major project),” Weatherwax said.
Burch said until the major work begins, with the Council’s permission he could start work on smaller projects this fall, including grading areas between the ball fields and the addition of a small parking lot on the east side of the park to allow fishing access to the man-made lake that was added as part of the expansion plan.
Burch said the small projects should not exceed $50,000.
In other business, the Council also heard a request from Loretta Gillespie to allow her to search for grants to fund renovations at a historic gin on Court Street near the Moulton square.
“There is an interest in industrial buildings. Wedding venues are more industrial and rustic now,” Gillespie said. “Moulton has a goldmine sitting right here that’s not being used.”
Building Inspector Renay Saint said the first step in getting the gin ready for public use would involve inspections from a licensed architect.
District 1 Councilwoman Joyce Jeffreys expressed interest in preserving the gin because it is a historical landmark that qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places.
The Council also considered amendments to an ordinance presented by Saint following public concerns about spreading fertilizer inside the city limits.
Several council members including Jeffreys, Brent White and District 4 Councilwoman Cassandra Lee expressed concern for farmers near and within the city limits who may be impacted economically by an ordinance restricting the use of fertilizer.
Saint said the issue could be revisited if an ordinance were introduced and present the Council with a draft for their consideration.
All council members were present for the work session. The next council meeting will take place on Monday, July 15, at City Hall at 5 p.m.