Fulton County is moving forward in the long anticipated further development of the Fulton County Recreational Complex located off Highway 9 North. This has been an ongoing process, started in 2006 by former judge Charles Willett. The athletic committee will be ready to begin phase three in development as soon as funds allow.
Phase three will consist of the installment of a concession stand, men's and women's restroom with multiple stalls and a room for umpires to use. So far, the committee has raised around $20,000 toward the projected $100,000 cost. $5,000 was donated by Senator Missy Irwin through a GIF grant and according to former County Judge Jim Bicker, that money went towards hiring an architect to design a 30 by 50 foot building that will house the concession stand and restrooms. Water has been one of the major delays in phase three. "We couldn't get city water across the bridge, we are just now getting rural water out to the park," committee member Brandon Hill said. The committee recently received the plans from the architect for the concession stand and bathrooms. "The next step will be to advertise bids for each section of development for the concession stand and bathrooms, but the main delay is the funding. We need to raise more funds before we can proceed to the next phase of the development," said Hill. The committee, as well as members of the community, have hosted several fundraisers for the development of the complex. Fundraisers such as home run derbies, men's league basketball tournaments, three on three tournaments, sponsorships and brick sales. The brick sale is an ongoing fundraiser and the 4 by 8 bricks are available for donations of $50 or more. A number of bricks have been purchased in the past. Order forms are available at the Fulton County Clerk's Office and the Bank of Salem. "We are going to have a donor wall with individual recognition blocks," Committee member Karen Coffman said. "For $50 people can purchase a brick with up to three lines of text, the more brick's you buy the larger discount you will receive." The community is encouraged to get involved with fundraising to help speed up the completion of the third phase. "If you want to host a fundraiser let someone on the committee know and we will do what we can to help assist you," Coffman said. Other sponsorships are available at $5,000, $2,500 and $500. Contributors names will be displayed on plaques or signs placed in prominent places in the complex.
Something the community can look forward to will be the completion of the complex's walking trail. "The asphalt overlay will be going out for bid on April 16, and depending on weather ,we look to have the overlay complete over the summer," County Judge Darrell Zimmer said. The Trail Grant was written by Sarah Sexton of White River Planning and Development and was funded $35,000. Sexton stated, "They do not do the administration part of trail grants and no administration monies are allowed on that grant." It was a 100 percent grant with no match required.
Previous stages in the development were Phase One: The land purchase, road and site prep and development of the basketball court, picnic area, architecture and administration.
The total grant budget was $200,000 with 50 percent grant match (funds flowed through the county). The total spent was $184,961.47, of which $92,480.73 was reimbursed through the grant. Phase Two: The fence for fields, parking and ADA access, utilities, playground expansion, architect and administration. The total grant budget was $260,000, with 50 percent grant match (funds flowed through the county). The entire $260,000 was spent with $130,000 reimbursed through the grant.
Judge Zimmer encourages the community to make use of the sports complex. "Once the walking trail is complete, and we have the playgrounds and basketball courts. I want to encourage the citizens to come out and make use of these facilities." The complex will be put to use as the Salem gears up for little league baseball and summer co-ed softball leagues. Come out and support your local ball players.