Warner Robins is making progress on improving recreation facilities, Mayor Randy Toms said Wednesday, and even dogs will get in on the fun.
Toms told community leaders that work is underway on the city’s first dog park, and two or three more could be coming this year.
Toms was the featured speaker at the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast. He and Jarred Reneau, the city’s new recreation director, talked about various projects in the works.
That includes a dog park planned for the new Wellston Park under construction. At the same time the breakfast was happening, a Houston County public works crew was at the park clearing the land for the dog park. Reneau said the city is seeking bids to build the dog park, and construction could start in March.
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Toms said he expects work to begin this year on a proposed sports complex. The city has applied for an earth-moving permit, and clearing could begin this spring. Proposed plans for the area had been estimated as high as $22 million, to include nine baseball/softball fields, a walking track and a gymnasium.
Toms said it might be that the initial construction will be scaled back some, but it will likely include the gymnasium and multiple ball fields. One thing being studied on the property, located near the intersection of North Houston Road and Elberta Road, is the amount of usable land.
“We have to see what land is available,” Toms said after he finished speaking to the group. “We have found out there is a little more wetland than we were originally told. So you either can’t use it or have to mitigate it, so we have to figure that out.”
He touted significant improvements that have been made at Ada Lee Park on South Pleasant Hill Road. Reneau said Deloris Toliver Park and Tanner Park are next up for improvements. Tanner Park is slated to become the city’s football complex, and it will also get a splash pad. A splash pad may also be coming to Deloris Toliver Park.
Walker’s Pond, a new park, is mostly completed and open to the public. It is open for fishing, and people can walk on a paved track around the pond.
When Toms took office, the city commissioned a study that concluded it needed to spend about $82 million to have the kind of recreation facilities that a city of its size ought to have. While Toms acknowledged the city if far away from reaching that goal, he said he is happy with the progress slated for this year.
“We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but we are committed to catching up,” he said.