Point Mallard boat pier and children's area to be replaced

·5 min read

Jul. 12—Improvements are coming to Point Mallard Aquatics Center as park officials work to replace the damaged boat pier and the aging children's area.

These are among almost 30 upcoming capital projects outlined in a meeting last week by Parks and Recreation Director Jason Lake and other city staff, and the cost for most has not been determined.

Point Mallard Manager Stephanie McLain said she is working with Bubba's Marine to repair the boat pier on the Tennessee River on the southeast end of the water park, near the Squirt Factory and wave pool.

"We're hoping to start and finish this project late this summer," McLain said.

McLain said the pier is an important access point for river emergencies.

She said the pier also give season-pass holders a place to dock their boats for access to the Aquatics Center.

Councilman Kyle Pike asked McLain if there's a plan for non-pass holders to "dock, go in to get food and then return to their boat."

McLain said they will use the same plan as they did before the pier was damaged.

"With pass holders, we just give them an armband (at the pier)," McLain said. "If it's someone who just wants to come in and let their children swim (at the Aquatics Center), we would walk them up and let them buy an armband for the day only."

The city reported $272,000 to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in damage and expenses to Point Mallard Park from flooding in late February and early March of 2019. The boat pier and several campground sites were damaged in the flooding that lasted about two weeks.

Chief Financial Officer Kyle Demeester said the contractor's quote on the pier cost, which includes a new floating deck and Americans with Disabilities Act-approved decking, was $37,403.

The city is receiving $32,730 from FEMA to repair the dock and is responsible for the remainder of the project, Demeester said.

McLain said they've had to get several permits, including one from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The timing of the work requires attention to river characteristics, including water levels.

"We have to work around mussel breeding season. Didn't know that was a thing," McLain said.

Lake reported the city received a $45,000 state grant, obtained by state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, to fund a plan for replacement of the children's area.

Lake said important updates to this area, along with a new children's play area, are more shading and the addition of a family restroom.

Other projects

Updates on other Parks and Recreation and city projects:

—Miracle Field — Former Police Chief Ed Taylor and his wife, Carol, are raising money and working with the city to find a location for a miracle baseball field for special needs children, Lake said.

Lake said Wilson Morgan Park is no longer an option because of the new recreation center the city is building there.

—Fitness Court — The city has received the equipment and Parks and Recreation employees will pour the cement at Wilson Morgan Park for a fitness court at the end of July.

The National Fitness Campaign plans to install the court in September. NFC is sponsoring the court, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, with a $50,000 grant.

The Fitness Court is a 38-by-38-foot outdoor gym network that features seven zones for a circuit training workout.

—Everyday Sunshine Park — Lake said Underwood Associates is working on the architect's drawing for the planned park at 1311 19th Ave. S.E. behind Oak Park Elementary School. GraceLife Church donated 30,000 square feet of its property for the inclusive park. It recently deeded the land to the city. The city will be seeking construction bids soon.

—Austinville, Indian Hills Fire Station and Frances Nungester Elementary parks — Playground equipment has been ordered for all three parks and will arrive soon. Fire Station 8's parking lot will be extended for use by those who attend the Indian Hills park.

—Linnett Street Park — The city is working with Decatur City Schools officials on a memorandum of understanding for a playground on about 2.5 acres off Linnet Street Southwest that Decatur City Schools owns. Orr helped the city get $50,000 in state money for the project.

—Chestnut Grove Elementary Park — Council President Jacob Ladner said Monday that the City Council will consider next week a resolution to hire Goodwyn Mills Cawood Inc. to do engineering, a master plan and project management for the park at Chestnut Grove Elementary.

—Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts roof — Initially, the city planned to recoat and reseal the roof but it has deteriorated to the point that now half the roof must be torn off and replaced, said Kurt Johnson, of city Building Maintenance.

Johnson said they are replacing the TPO membrane (a commercial synthetic roofing material) over the auditorium. The only noticeable aesthetic change is that the membrane will be white instead of black, he said.

The roof change requires state approval because the Princess is a historic building, and Johnson said he expects this approval in about a month. Johnson said August through September is the best time for the Princess staff to reschedule programs in anticipation of the roof work.

—Jimmy Johns Tennis Complex — The city is working to replace and upgrade the tennis complex's lights this month.

—Wilson Morgan Dog Park — The four new shades to be installed at the dog parks were ordered May 9 and the expected shipping time is 16 weeks.

—Cashin Wheeler Baseball Field — The city is planning to replace the fencing and dugouts at the baseball field. Lake said the price estimate is $75,000, and they've received a $25,000 commitment from a private party to offset a portion of the cost.

—Founders Park — The city is working on a plan to upgrade the lights and sound at Founders Park. Mayor Tab Bowling said a large part of the funding will come from Daikin America.

Lake said the fountain may be rebuilt and possibly moved to a new location at the park since it has no historic significance. He said the old site would then become a place where tables could be put out for outdoor dinners.

—Decatur Public Library — The city is looking at overhauling the library's elevator in the same way it did the City Hall elevators, Johnson said.

bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.