By Wendy Burton
Fort Gibson’s sports complex won’t be ready for kids to kick soccer balls quite as early as was hoped, city officials said Monday.
But that project and several other town projects continue to move along nicely, said Mayor Brad Clinkenbeard.
The sports complex has been named Whitlock Sports Complex and will be dedicated to the memory of former Whitlock employee Quincy Vaughn.
The town’s trustees originally hoped the soccer fields being built there would be ready for fall soccer, but that isn’t going to be the case because of recent weather, Clinkenbeard said.
“We’ve had 55 rain delay days already, and without those delays the project is on schedule. But those rain days have slowed the project,” Clinkenbeard said.
The concession stand will be done in a couple of weeks, and the “sprigging” will start in the next week or two.
But the sprigs, or grass, isn’t going to grow in fast enough to play ball on it this fall, he said.
On a positive note, because of Renfro Electric’s donation of electrical work on the complex, the project has saved about $23,900, he said.
“And a big ‘thank you’ to Renfro Electric,” Clinkenbeard said. “So, we have set aside that money for soccer goals and field equipment, but only if there are no change orders in the project that delete those funds before completion.”
Clinkenbeard said donations for the complex continue to be needed, and anyone who would like to help should call or visit Town Hall.
The Board of Trustees also is working on possibly selling the property at Spencer’s Corner on the corner of Poplar Street where they’ve had the windows boarded over to prevent vandalism.
Clinkenbeard said the town purchased the dilapidated property with the idea of creating stormwater retention to solve some flooding issues in town.
The entity who has inquired about the property is interested in creating stormwater retention there as well as putting in residential property, he said.
A new storm siren is in the works thanks to a $10,000 grant from Cherokee Nation Entertainment, Clinkenbeard said.
“And that was greatly appreciated,” he said. “But it is a $17,500 siren, so we’re also looking for additional grants.” The siren is twice the size of any the town already has and will cover a two-mile radius.
The town also is in the engineering phase and grant cycle for the water line extension on Georgetown Road.
“The new lines will go down to Morgan Road and go east and west on Morgan Road,” Clinkenbeard said. “We have had discussions about going down River Road, but it is not economically feasible.”
Fort Gibson’s next Board of Trustees meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 at Town Hall.
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton