Facilities prepped for spring; bring your own water

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

The weather is getting warmer and warmer as each day passes, and, yeah, I know we’re in that fake springtime where the bottom will drop out at some point.


But still, the good folks over in the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department are hard at work, getting the fields and facilities ready for spring and summer fun.

We had crews out bush hogging this week at Melton Hill Park and I.C. King Park. Crews also are sharpening the blades and getting the weed eaters ready because lawnmowing season kicks in next week.

And our plumbers are starting to de-winterize the buildings, getting the facilities and restrooms up and running. Please note, however, at this point we won’t turn on the water fountains at the request of the Knox County Health Department. We’ll re-evaluate this in a few months.

And speaking of warm weather, we do plan to open the splash pads this summer, probably in May. So, we’ve got a crew at Powell Station Park, trying to fix a leak. Unfortunately, it’s a bad one, so they’ll need to cut into the concrete to reach the drains. They’re pros, though, and should have it repaired shortly.

Our carpenters this past week were at Maloney Road Park in South Knox County, rebuilding the swing at the tip of the point.

In addition, we had folks clearing fallen trees along the trails at Concord Park near the quarry and others over at Three Ridges Golf Course (which falls under the Parks and Recreation Department’s umbrella) fixing concrete trip hazards.

On the recreation side, we’ve got crews spraying the ball fields as the sports seasons kick in. This week, we started adult soccer at Tommy Schumpert Park and middle school baseball at SportsPark in Karns. Our weekend baseball/softball tournament season also begins this Saturday at the SportsPark.

“We look forward to seeing you all out and about enjoying this beautiful East Tennessee weather,” said Troy Fleming, who runs the department’s recreation side.

The Parks and Recreation Department wasn’t the only one getting things done!

The good folks over at the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department also were hustling this week.

E&PW Senior Director Jim Snowden said they received a notification earlier in the week of a slope failure on Roberts Road in East Knox County. They’d previously built a rock buttress there but it slid.

Still, crews were able to clean up the area and use concrete barriers to keep it temporarily safe.

Snowden said: “We will need to implement a more permanent solution, soil nails, anchors, etc., not a huge deal, but will most likely result in road closure. Good news: The state has a contract with GCI, a specialty geotechnical contractor that we have used before with good success. I’ll keep you updated as we move forward.”

Also on the E&PW crew’s worktab:

  • Ball Road – Installation of new cross drain culvert. The new culvert pipe was inserted into existing pipe to minimize impacts to traffic on Ball Road.
  • Roberts Road – Stabilize a localized slope failure and added concrete safety barriers.
  • Edwards Place subdivision – Installation of new sidewalk.

Enjoy this photo carousel of projects across the county:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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