Point A Park lease, upgrades stalled

Published 12:50 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Projects to improve Point A Recreation Park are at a standstill, as is a new lease for that facility, after the Covington County Commission tabled a request from the current leasee/manager Tuesday.

Last month, the commission opted to not renew its current lease with Eric Johnson, who has been updating the park.

Commission Chairman Greg White said commissioners haven’t decided whether they will accept new proposals from other potential leases, or if they will negotiate a new lease with Johnson.

“Eric may come along again and say here is a new proposal,” White said. “Here are the concerns that you had and here is how I will address that.”

For the last couple of years, improvements have been made at Point A recreation park with oversight by the commission and PowerSouth.

“We have made several improvements to the park including the campgrounds, the swimming area, the tent camping area and the fishing area,” White said. “The improvements have been made by Eric. PowerSouth owns the property and we sublease it to Eric or other operators. They are continuing to make improvements to the grounds, so Eric’s proposal to us was a series of improvements for this summer season.”

Johnson had asked for an advancement of $20,000 for the project, but the commission tabled tabled that request Tuesday. Commissioners said they would not address the issue because Johnson did not attend the meeting.

“We are typically the middle man,” White said. “He was asking for an advancement for the project and it was proposed that PowerSouth would fund it. So, he was asking for the commission to advance the money for materials and then we would get reimbursed. None of this is in stone, it is just a work proposal to move forward.”

White said that Johnson has done a great job over the past years beautifying the park.

“The park looks as good as it has for a number of years,” White said. “He has just done a great job of cleaning it up and I compliment him on the way he has done that. He has poured a lot of himself into those projects. I am fretful that we, the commission, decided to not renew the contract of the lease, because he has done such a good job and invested himself into that park. If we can address the two or three issues that the commission had, then I’m good with that.”

The commission also:

• Appointed Paul Whatley and Dr. Edgar Carter to the Recreation Board.

• Appointed Becky Baldwin to the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board.

• Agreed to participate in the Back to School Tax Holiday set for July 19-21.

• Approved a liquor license for The HonkeyTonk LLC.

• Approved an asphalt bid to Wiregrass Construction.

• Approved a modification to the pay plan and workforce classification in the Maintenance Department.