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Vilonia plans new city parkPublished December 8, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
VILONIA — The city of Vilonia will soon have a new city park facility with four softball fields, seven soccer fields, parking areas and a concession stand, as well as a city-maintenance facility.
Site work began in the fall on the park facility, to be built on 17-plus acres on North Mount Olive Road. Adjacent to it, the site work has been completed by city employees, Mayor James Firestone said, for the building of a new maintenance facility.
The Vilonia City Council approved the hiring of a site construction manager to oversee the maintenance-facility project.
“I think it is the better way to go,” Firestone said, addressing the council in November.
The facilities are estimated to cost about $1.5 million and will be paid for with the revenue from a half-cent sales tax for park and recreational improvements, not to exceed $1.75 million.
Bond sales have been approved with the issuance of $1.74 million to pay for the projects. Voters approved the measure on the September ballot. The new tax replaced a half-cent sales tax that was approved in 2005 and retired, under a sunset clause, in October following paying off the construction costs of City Hall.
The new tax will go on the books Jan. 1, with Centennial Bank in Jonesboro serving as the bond trustee. The scheduled payoff date for the bonds is 2029. However, if the current growth continues, the bonds are expected to be paid off in 2024, said Stephens Inc.’s Jack Truemper, who handled the bond sales.
This will be Vilonia’s second city park. The sporting-event aspect is managed by the Vilonia Sports Association. Officials of the association said the current facility’s program serves more than 500 children in both spring and fall sports and is expected to grow steadily with the additional facilities.