Cave City to expand park and move city offices

By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor

A city’s ability to provide facilities for its residents that make their lives better outside of home is something many small towns strive to do. Cave City is working extra hard to promote a sense of community through an addition to their park and move their antiquated city hall to a newer facility and create a new pocket park. Many residents of Cave City and the surrounding area utilize the city’s walking track and play-ground regularly, especially with the impending warmer weather. Oftentimes, parents and care-givers are forced to forego their walk when they have children rather than enjoying the time together due to the park and walking trail being in separate locations. Many young children can not be left unattended on the play equipment while parents opt to walk or run the track. This is one of the reasons, the city sought a grant to expand, move and update the city park’s playground to a centrally located area within the center oval of the walking track. Mayor Jonas Ander-son and council member Hanna Smith obtained a matching $75,000 grant from the Arkansas Parks and Tourism. Some of the equipment from the previous park will be moved, including the monkey bars oval and swings and add to new equipment. A spinner that is similar to a merry-go-round, will be added and handicapped assessable transitional ramps will also be constructed. A solid compressed wood mulch base will be laid to promote easy access for children in wheelchairs or walkers. There will be a new very large piece of equipment in the middle with play items on both sides reaching nearly pavement to pavement with the track. Shaded park benches will also be added along the pathway. Shades are also some-thing that may be added for summer months and can be removed during the winter to help pre-vent sunburns and promote a cooler play area. There is currently some equipment within the walking track that is primarily used for smaller children. Anderson said in the future he would like to remove the pea gravel base from the existing equipment and transition it into the new equipment and lay the same type base. The construction is going rather quickly and Anderson said he is hopeful the project will be done within a few weeks but certainly before the Watermelon Festival. Anderson said there has been a lot of work that has gone into the project, from Smith helping obtain the grant to White River Planning and Development District helping the city over seeing and facilitate the grant project. Aar-on Hunter working with the Parks Division with the Josh Matthews with finance have also been a huge asset to the city throughout the process, the mayor explained. While the park is used for many activities and events throughout the year, the largest is also one of the largest festivals in the state, the Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival. Anderson said they have made plans for this year’s festival to accommodate the growing number of cars that will be on display during the festival’s car show in a flat area beyond the city’s fishing lake. He said in the future he would like to see some type of a pavilion overlooking the lake constructed as well. Anderson said he is very excited about promoting the city and also spoke about obtaining the old Citizen’s Bank branch location on MainStreet. When Citizen’s Bank closed their branch at Cave City, Anderson spoke with the bank’s CEO, as well as Helen Shaw, Facilities Manager and Chairman of the Board Jeff Teague who worked with him to facilitate the purchase of the building. The mayors office, water department, finance office will move into the building as well as a revenue office. There will be a few larger meeting areas as well within the new city hall. The city also purchased a building that sits adjacent to the new City Hall on Union Street. The building will house the police department and have a large training room that will allow the department to host various types of law enforcement training sessions. A building behind the location of the new police department is an old barn type structure that was included in the purchase and will be utilized for storage and a shop area for the city, along with a vacant lot. The third property the city of Cave City purchased is the red building across from Casey’s Convenience Store that used to house a Mercantile in the 1930s. It will be cleaned out on the inside. The front wall will remain and the area will be converted into a pock-et park with planters, flowers, art and picnic tables for smaller events to be held. Anderson is very optimistic about the future of the city and its growth and ability to draw people to the area and looks forward to the possibilities the new park and city hall have for the residents.

Related Post