Opp OKs new restrooms, concessions

Published 8:11 pm Monday, December 1, 2014

By spring, baseball fans may have new restroom facilities and a concession stand to enjoy at the Cameron Road baseball complex in Opp.

The Opp City Council voted Monday morning to let bids for demolishing the existing facilities and constructing new ones at the Merchants, Senn and Buckelew-Hall Fields. Council members said the current facilities are old and nasty.

“We’ve been needing to do this,” Councilman Arlin Davis said. “The people who go out to the ballparks need this.”

According to Mayor John Bartholomew, the project is expected to take 60 to 90 days to begin and is expected to cost between $100,000 and $135,000. He said the money would come from the general fund, but has not been set aside yet.

Parks and Recreation Director Willie Edwards said stalls currently available in the bathrooms do not accommodate the number of people in attendance.

Edwards said there are two stalls and for the crowd only, the bathrooms need to have at least eight stalls.

“The space isn’t there,” Edwards said. “New facilities will accommodate a bigger crowd.”

Edwards said he believes the facilities are at least 50 years old.

“I’m 44 years old, and they’ve been here since I played ball,” he said. “It’s time for an upgrade.”

The council was concerned about the cleanliness of the bathrooms.

“We need to put in there somewhere that those bathrooms be cleaned every day, whether someone was in there or not,” Davis said.

Edwards said there is only so much clean up that can be done.

“We still use them because we have to,” Edwards said. “We want to make this where you can be proud of it.”

The baseball season starts in March.

In other business, the council:

• approved a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to repair the drainage ditch on Douglas Avenue near Georgia Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing, LLC. The estimated cost is $124,115, with the city responsible for 20 percent or $24,823 and the grant paying $99.292, if awarded; and

• authorized $600 to the Downtown Redevelopment Authority for Christmas tree lights.