Heritage Point Park fields to get new turf infields

May 21—The baseball/softball fields at Dalton's Heritage Point Park should have new turf infields by next spring.

The City Council members voted 4-0 Monday to approve a $3.069 million contract with Sports Fields of Gainesville for the fields. All 10 fields will get new infields. The contract calls for the work to be substantially complete by Feb. 28, 2025.

Most of the funding will come from a $2.2 million Improving Neighborhood Outcomes in Disproportionally Impacted Communities Grant the city received from the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget.

"They'll do it in two phases, so at least five fields will be available throughout the project," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Caitlin Sharpe.

"As a baseball purist, I hate to see kids playing on an infield that is not dirt, but I guess this is where we are," said council member Steve Farrow.

Sharpe said with the amount of use recreation department facilities get turf is the way to go.

"The longevity, the maintenance savings that you see, turf is the way most recreation departments (go)," she said.

City Administrator Andrew Parker said there has been "a ton of drainage issues on those fields over the last few years."

The council members also voted 4-0 to approve a $22,356 contract with the Dalton Convention Center to host a human trafficking prevention conference. City officials are working with Hamilton Medical Center officials to present the conference, which will be funded from the city's share of an opioid settlement.

"It will be a three-day conference," said Parker to the council members. "We have about $130,000 (in settlement funds) and at upcoming meetings we will be bringing other contracts to you for other uses."

Mayor Annalee Harlan Sams typically votes only when there is a tie.