A proposed athletic park on the city owned property located at 9661 Memphis Arlington Rd is one step closer to fruition. At the March Board of Commissioners meeting, a resolution to purchase wetland credits was approved. According to Lakeland Parks and Recreations Director Pat O’Mara, the wetland credits are part of the permit for Phase I with the Army Corps of Engineers. The cost for mitigation credits is $40,000 per acre, but the athletic park project only requires 0.34 acres of mitigation which will total $13,600. The credit is a one time cost related to a US Army Corp of Engineers 404 Nationwide Permit. The Corps requires mitigation for impacts to wetlands over 0.10 acres. The amount of mitigation for impacts on the Athletic Complex project are a rate of 2:1. The City will purchase 0.34 units of mitigation credits from the West TN Wetlands Mitigation Bank to meet the 404 permit requirements.
Once the credits are purchased the project can move to the next phase. “We expect to take the project to bid the construction in early April once that permit is complete, and the State Grant office gives its final approval on environmental clearances,” said Mr. O’Mara.
Recently, the city of Lakeland released a survey asking citizens what they would like to see at this athletic complex. The results will be part of the overall study which
is being performed by Barge Design Solutions. The plan will take into consideration the new layout for Phase I of the complex.
Mr. O’Mara mentioned the most requested features were for “flat” athletic fields (ex: soccer, football, lacrosse), passive recreation (ex: trails & walking paths) and active recreation (ex: bike/skate parks, & play structures).
Many individual features were also requested in the survey such as bathroom facilities, walking paths, a water spray park, among others. “While some of these facilities may not make it into the master plan, our goal in this revision is to meet the needs of the community in a logical phased build-out approach for the facilities that are appropriate on this site once engineering and planning is complete,” Mr. O’Mara said.