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Board approves Traceway and Robinson park work, new parks superintendent post

By Randy Bell

traceway park sign

Clinton will now have a parks superintendent and a private company handling landscaping and grounds maintenance at Traceway Park. The Board of Aldermen voted November 15 to create the superintendent position and to hire a Louisiana company for the Traceway work.

“The park superintendent, I think that’s a position that’s definitely needed,” said Parks and Recreation Director Courtney Nunn. “We’ve worked hard to divide the Parks and Recreation Department to where we have a recreation side, which takes care of the fields at Traceway, and then our parks side takes care of our outside parks.”

Nunn said the new superintendent will also have responsibilities over the new park the City hopes to build on an 84-acre site south of I-20.

The Board voted to give pay raises to the department’s grounds superintendent and a grounds technician.

“We’re not talking about a whole lot of money,” Nunn said. “It was in the budget to be able to do that.” She said the raises are important to remain competitive with what other cities can offer.

Rotolo Consultants, Inc. of Baton Rouge was awarded the $155,536 annual contract for landscaping and grounds maintenance at Traceway. Nunn said they had trouble hiring workers to cut the grass surrounding the park’s athletic fields.

“That was a difficult task, and it just was not happening, so we looked at an alternative.” She said they examined how much they were spending for salaries and benefits for those three employees, plus mowers and gas and maintenance for those mowers, along with chemicals and mulch for flowerbeds.

“We’re definitely going to be saving at least $25,000. And we won’t have a problem getting the grounds cut in a timely manner because of not having enough staff to get it done. This will also allow our staff at Traceway to put more emphasis on the playing fields.”

The aldermen also approved a $62,140 contract for two drainage projects at Traceway. SchoggensScapes will do the work on soccer fields 1, 2, 8 and 10 to make them more playable after a rain.

“We were not able to put kids on the fields for soccer practices, nor were they able to use them for games,” Nunn said. She said the fields can’t be painted if they’re too wet.

“And putting kids on those [wet] fields tears up all the grass that we’ve grown” and wastes chemicals that have been used on the fields. Nunn said, “With getting better drainage there, we’ll be able to utilize the fields that we’ve put so much money into.”

Robinson Park will see some improvements, as well. The Board voted to spend $16,380 for new swings. Nunn said the old swings were outdated.

“There’s just a T-post there, which is just a pipe with a pipe going across at the top,” Nunn said. “And it just has two belted swings on each side. This will allow us to extend the swing area with four bays. Two will be regular belted swings, one will be ADA compliant and then the other will be an infant swing. We want to attract more kids to Robinson Park.”

The park is also getting an automatic entrance gate at a cost of $11,928, replacing a gate that’s opened and closed manually.

“This will allow us to be able to set a timer for it to open up at a certain time in the morning and close at night, where we won’t have people lingering in the park after hours. I think it will allow for Robinson Park to be a lot safer,” Nunn said.

The Robinson Park improvements follow other improvements made in the prior two years, including drainage work, upgrades to the walking trail, lighting and a half-court basketball court in 2021, along with a new playground, video surveillance system and restrooms in 2020.



 

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