By BRADEN LAMMERS
As Vissing Park gets nearer to its completion, the Jeffersonville Parks Authority looked to put the final touches in place and directed its attention to the next project on the horizon.
Matt Gullo, with Kovert-Hawkins, provided an update to work in Vissing Park and said the trails in the woods surrounding the park are finished, shelters, bathrooms are completed and grass has been seeded on the fields.
“We should be able to play ball for the spring ball season,” he said.
Parks Director Paul Northam said spring leagues are set to begin the Monday after Derby weekend adding a grand opening ceremony date has not been set.
“I think a grand opening is a really good idea, if your really wanting to put this out there as your premiere park,” Gullo said.
He added that contractors will look to finish the majority of the work remaining by the end of December.
In addition to the final touches of construction at the park, two plaques will be added to the site recognizing those who have worked to develop the park and another outlining its history. A finalized version of the signs is expected to be brought back at the parks authority’s next meeting, Dec. 11.
The parks authority board also approved a signage package for the park and will look to gather pricing on installing the signs from several companies and agreed to install Internet lines throughout the park, which would act as a precursor to adding security cameras and alarms.
Even though the park is yet to officially open, Gullo said that there have already been visitors coming to the park. While he said he is pleased that people are wanting to use the park, he offered his concern about people visiting the park before construction has been completed.
Kovert-Hawkins presented a change order to the parks authority board totaling $5,189, which was approved 5-0 with Board Members Lisa Gill, Dennis Julius, Zach Payne and Connie Sellers absent from Monday’s meeting. The cost was deleted from the contingency allowance for the project.
With the Vissing Park project nearing completion, the parks authority board turned their attention to another plan to construct six soccer fields and an indoor multisport facility near Charlestown Pike. Northam said the plan is to expand the Clark County Soccer Association fields and add an indoor multipurpose facility for an estimated cost of $4 million.
Kovert-Hawkins representatives Gullo and James Lake said the company is working on construction documents for the soccer association, which will likely be available by the end of January.
Parks Authority Board Member Ed Zastawny offered one funding plan that could pay for the project. He explained that the bond set up to pay for Vissing Park was a $4 million bond, with a five-year bond anticipation note that could be secured through a local bank. But to complete Vissing Park, the board does not need the full $4 million, it only needs $3 million.
We found $2 million from prior unspent funds in park and $1 million out of the city’s Economic Development Income Tax fund is set to go toward the costs for Vissing Park, Zastawny said.
“That means we still owe $1 million, but we have credit available for $3 million,” he said. “We should be able to pay off Vissing park next year. That would leave us $4 million for four years — a line of credit for this project.”
No action was taken on the project as several steps need to be completed before funding is required and construction begins. Before any work is done on the site, Kovert-Hawkins asked that the parks authority approve funding an animation to show people what the project will eventually become.
“Really, it helps visualize what’s going to go on there it really sparks interest in the community,” Gullo said of why the animation is needed. “It helps [the public] understand what the city’s trying to do.”
“The one in Vissing Park proved to be just an enormous tool,” Lake said, adding that it may not have been used enough. “To use it for marketing on this is almost essential,” he said of the proposed soccer park. “It’s not for marketing us, it’s not really for marketing the park, other than the park needs to market for financial support.”
Lake said the animation would be designed to get corporate sponsorships for the park and said it will take about 45 days to develop.
The parks authority agreed to pay $6,600 for the animation, Kovert-Hawkins will pay $5,000 and a $2,400 grant from the community foundation will cover the remainder of the costs.
• The Parks Authority Board agreed to move their meetings to 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. The board’s next meeting will be held Dec. 11.