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Corinth to mull new round of park improvements

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

CORINTH — The Corinth City Council will consider approving more than $800,000 at its meeting Thursday night to make improvements to the Corinth Community Park that will include the addition of heart defibrillators, sidewalks and shaded bleachers.

If approved, park improvements will top more than $1 million this year.

The improvements are part of an effort to enhance all of the city’s parks by adding amenities requested by residents and city staff.

Community Park is Corinth’s largest park and spans more than 100 acres. Its current amenities include a basketball court, gazebo, picnic tables, softball and baseball fields and jogging trails.

Earlier this year, the city formed a Parks Improvement Committee, composed of council members, city staff members and an athletic specialist. The committee met a few times this summer to develop recommended improvements to Community Park.

A list of other park improvements include adding a lightning prediction and warning system, soccer goals, batting cages, an additional T-ball field and 140 additional parking spaces.

“I have five kids and they are all very athletic,” Corinth resident Jackie Pierce said. “I think the improvements will keep people excited about the parks, which creates community pride.”

The improvements slated for Community Park will use a combination of Economic Development Corporation funds and the city’s General Capital Improvement Fund, according to staff members.

In its 2012-13 operation budget, the Corinth Economic Development Corporation approved a $750,000 incentive match for a parks grant, and city staff members proposed putting up about $403,000 to be matched by the corporation, City Manager Jim Berzina said.

Staff members are requesting the City Council use funds from the city’s General Capital Improvement Fund.

If approved, this will be the second wave of park-related improvements by Corinth this year.

In May 2012, the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee provided a list of needs for the neighborhood parks to city staff and the City Council. That winter, the council unanimously agreed to award the contract for improvements to American Parks Co., a Prosper-based playground equipment firm. The city made $250,000 in improvement to nine city parks.

Improvements included adding sun shading on playground equipment, installing playground sets, repairing picnic tables and installing some landscaping.

To pay for the improvements, city officials used funds from its Park Development Fund, which is designed for that purpose, Berzina said.

During a three-year period, officials allowed the park fund to grow through donations made by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and revenue generated through a park impact fee on a nearby apartment complex.

The council meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 3300 Corinth Parkway.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.