By Michael Campbell – News Editor
PRINCE GEORGE – The planned utilities expansion at Scott Park continues to move forward as supervisors approved funding for the project, which would improve the facility and help “avert a violation notice from the [Virginia Department of Environmental Quality].”
During their meeting last week, supervisors approved the use of $190,000 in bonds to go toward field improvements at the park along Courthouse Road.
According to the county’s adopted Capital Improvements Plan for fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2025, the scope of the Scott Park utilities expansion would see the installation of utilities at the park, including electrical service, water and sewer.
In addition, the project calls for “the completion of the rectangular fields, parking area, adding restrooms, [a] concession building, fencing, bleachers and walkways.”
“The property is designated for the future growth needs of the County with respect to County’s services, buildings, and recreation,” officials explained in the CIP document. “We can have 6-7 rectangular fields, 3-4 softball and baseball fields, a variety of hiking trails, and there can be playgrounds, dog parks, mountain bike trails, disk golf, fishing, pavilions, and concession stands.”
The document adds, “The park will be a great resource for citizens in the local Parks & Rec. community who have kids who play sports, families and seniors who enjoy walking, fishing and bird watching, sport enthusiasts and bikers,” noting that Scott Park “will also provide for future government needs by providing land for additional facilities and expansions such as a school, equipment garage or other government building.”
According to the CIP, the motivation for this project stems from recent increases in enrollment for multiple sports in the county, noting that there “are not enough fields to handle the demands of the community.”
“Soccer and football have to be played in the outfields of softball and baseball fields, resulting in the deterioration of the fields,” officials noted. “In addition, new types of recreational activities cannot be offered if additional space/land is not developed. The County desires to have a central, planned location for future growth needs including facilities and recreational needs.”
While construction on the upgrade is scheduled to start in fiscal year 2021 at an estimated cost of $980,000, work has begun in preparation for the project.
According to Prince George Deputy County Administrator Jeff Stoke, the Virginia Department Environmental Quality cited the contractor working on the project, Perkinson Construction.
When asked for specifics, we were directed by the county to speak with officials from the Perkinson Construction in regards to the details of the violation.
In an interview, an official with the construction company remarked that we should talk with county officials about the matter.
Prince George officials stressed that the violation was not against the county, but against the contractor working on the project and, in a later statement, said they do have information related to the violation but “feel uncomfortable speaking to the violation that was handed down to Perkinson.”
“The board’s action in appropriating the money will complete this phase of the construction and should address DEQ’s concerns,” officials stated.
A request for details on the violation levied against Perkinson has been sent to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Copyright 2016 by Womack Publications