By Bill Short
Board members took the action during their July 8 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Don Lowry.
City Finance Director John Trusty said a $706,311 bid submitted by Enscor LLC was the “lowest and best” of four received.
He noted that City Manager Ed Haley and engineering consultant Jason Dixon identified things in the original plan that could be eliminated. They negotiated with Enscor to decrease the cost of the project to no more than $460,000, while maintaining the “primary purpose” of constructing three fields.
The project will be financed by a combination of grant funds from the Shelby County Commission, Community Development Block Grant funds through the county and money from the city’s Capital Projects Fund.
Trusty said the bid will cover the “initial” development phase of the Millington South Sports Complex.
“We’re going to do some work with city crews, such as rough-ins of the sewer and water lines that will go in the park,” he noted. “In the original specifications, we did not have restrooms for this part of the facilities, lighting for the fields or a concession stand.”
At its March 2017 meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase vacant property at 4885 Bill Knight from the Shelby County School System.
The property, formerly known as Millington South School and Renaissance Academy North, had been designated as “surplus” by the county school board, which agreed to sell it to the city for $130,000.
At its September 2018 meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution approving a “land swap” with the Millington Municipal School System.
The city had demolished all the school buildings on the Bill Knight property except the gymnasium, which was renovated for use as part of the Millington Arts, Parks and Recreation Department programming.
The resolution allowed:
(1) the city to give the school system the parcel behind Millington Middle School that was known as Joyner Park; and
(2) the school system to give the city a parcel on Jack Huffman Boulevard between its two ball fields and the Bill Knight property that the city purchased.
Although the school system retained its ball fields, the city acquired the adjacent property east of them all the way to the railroad track.
The city intends to convert most of that property into three baseball fields and to develop the remainder as park land. Trusty has noted that it will also “tie into” the greenway connections that are planned as part of the Resiliency Grant.