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New park seeks volunteers
“We are making good progress on the park construction,” Mayor Alfred Wester said last week at the regular Red Oak town meeting held last Monday. “The contractors are making good progress in clearing the land, especially now that the burning ban has been lifted.”

According to Wester, the contract for the park construction includes a deadline of April 24th for completion of the areas to be constructed by the contractor. However, that still leaves the matter of the erection of three public structures that are part of the park plan, but were pulled from the contract because of the rising cost of construction. “We are trying to hold costs any way we can,” Wester said.

Fortunately, some volunteers are coming forward to help. Representatives from Scout Troop #628 were present at the last regular business meeting on January 6th. Troop leaders Dr. William Jarvis and David Dugass explained that some of their troop members were looking for Eagle Scout projects. “Our Scouts would like to do projects to benefit the community where they live,” explained Dugass.

After some discussion with Red Oak Commissioners, the scout troop, which gains some of its support from the Town of Red Oak, offered to head up the volunteer efforts to construct the two shelters for the park: a 20 X 20 ft structure and another 30 X 30 foot structure. Jerry Barnes of Barnes Electric, whose son is in the scout troop, has also volunteered to help with some electrical needs for the park, Dugass said. According to figures released by Nash County Parks and Recreation Supervisor Sue Yerkis, this effort should save more than $34,000 in labor costs for the park.

The scouts also mentioned the possibility of raising funds to install lights at the park so that it could remain open after dark, as is now planned. However, Mayor Wester said that he felt it was too large a project for this time. Yerkis later confirmed that the estimated costs of installing lights throughout the park would likely exceed $400,000. “We will have to save that project for another day,” Wester said.

Mayor Alfred Wester also said that it was his understanding that County Commissioner Robbie Davis of Turn-Key Construction had offered to head up volunteer efforts to construct the main park building that will house the restrooms and the concessions stand. Volunteer work on this project will save over another $150,000 in labor costs, Yerkis said.

In an interview, Yerkis mentioned another park project that is in need of help. Volunteers are needed to simply plant wetland plants in a detention pond, an effort that will save over $17,000 in labor costs.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the scout project of constructing the shelters, please contact Davis Dugass at 919-795-2487. If you would like to volunteer to help with the other volunteer projects, you can reach Sue Yerkis at 462-2447.

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