Phase 1 to begin by May 1 at Johnson Park

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Noticeable construction work will begin at Johnson Park by May 1.

The Andalusia City Council approved a bid Tuesday for the first phase of the project that will cover the cost of excavating the property for the new fields and parking lot. Moody Contracting submitted the winning bid of $226, 971.

City council members also approved a 15-year lease with Palmer and Sons for the property behind the auto body shop for a new parking lot.

“This will get parking completely out of the congested area but close enough to feed into the complex,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “It’s even a closer walk.”

Department of Leisure Services Director Dwight Mikel was also granted approval for items needed to host the upcoming Babe Ruth 12U Softball World Series in August at the Andalusia Sports Complex, including a new sound system, air conditioning and cosmetic improvements such as floor covering and carpet for the property’s buildings.

Mikel said the new sound system is “portable” and can be moved to the new press box at Johnson Park when it’s completed.

Johnson Park is set to reopen in 2012 as “Legends Field” and will feature eight playing fields.

In other business, the council:

• approved an ordinance pertaining to the Vector Aerospace Expansion Project that would allow for a $1 million advance to begin construction on the project. Johnson said the City of Opp and the Covington County Commission will take the same measure at their next meetings.

• approved an ordinance establishing a sales tax holiday on Aug. 5-7.

• reappointed John Vick, Dwight Mikel and Edwin May to the Community Enhancement Committee.

• assessed abatement costs to the property owners at 739 Auburn Avenue and 504 Rankin Street.

• approved repairs to a fire truck.

• declared a Dodge Durango used by the police department as surplus.

• approved the outside agencies’ second quarter appropriations.

• announced the following committee and board openings: one on the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board; three on the Tourism and Relocation Committee; and one on the Planning Commission.