As expected, the citizens brigade against locating the fire station near Kroger on what now seems to be everyone’s favorite green space, gained major momentum in the council’s meeting last week. Also as expected, the council voted to delay voting on the issue for 30 days and has the option to keep delaying it indefinitely.
I predict the council will abandon its intention to locate the station there and find a place more palatable to the citizens. Yes, we need the fire station, but it is our money, our green space and the responsibility of the council to follow the directions of its constituents.
The people have spoken.
Playing ball is an option we have to support
As you know, the city council is considering eight bond issues and they will put three on the ballot for us to vote on in November. There is all sorts of campaigning going on to persuade us and our alderman to send their favorite bond issues to the ballot.
That doesn’t mean we have to vote for any of them, and remember they all cost us money in the long run, some more than others.
One of the easiest choices on the list for me is the baseball and softball field expansion.
Here’s the basic information from the bond task force:
Diamond Center T-ball Fields and Softball Fields or Ball Field Additions (2 Softball fields, 2 T-ball fields) — Estimated Capitol Cost $1,050,066; Estimated O&M expense (annual) $60,000 above existing O&M expenses — This project would allow for construction of two new softball fields and related parking at the existing Softball Complex. The Maumelle Softball Association is at maximum capacity and cannot admit any more teams than last year. The current fields will not allow certain tournaments to be hosted due to the number of field requirements. This has reduced potential revenue to the Association.
The two fields would also allow additional practice times for teams in the program. This project would also include the construction of two new T-ball Fields at the existing Diamond Center. These two fields would allow games to be moved off the existing fields, allowing the games of the older children to start earlier. Currently, the games of the older children are delayed to allow the T-ball players to use the same fields. Because of the late start times, the older children are not getting home until approximately 10:00 pm on school nights.
There are tons of kids who play ball there and we need to support this activity as much as we can afford. For some reason, Maumelle and North Little Rock have become the leaders in providing baseball programs. Little Rock has more or less abandoned baseball in favor of bike trails and marathons. I believe Junior Deputy and the Boy’s Club (not Little Rock city parks programs) are the only organized effort in the city. They should be ashamed.
I will encourage my alderman to add this to the ballot. It is a relatively inexpensive way to provide recreation to thousands of Maumelle kids for years to come.
Headed to Redneck Riviera
As you read this, I’ll be hanging out in Gulf Shores, Ala., with the grandbuddies. The temperatures aren’t expected to be above the low 70s but I had a longing to smell the sea spray and search for some seafood. I’ll report back later. I’d like to hear from you readers on your favorite things/places to go on the Emerald Coast.
I love "March Madness." It’s my favorite sporting season of the year. I can turn on almost any game of the 64 being played and enjoy it. The Hogs were left at home to go to the "also ran tourney," known as the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The Hogs dominated Indiana State for most of the game and now must face California, to whom they lost earlier in the season.
Either way, it was a somewhat disappointing year, but I will still watch basketball games till my eyes cross through the Final Four, hopefully of both the NCAA and the NIT.
Thinking about Bill Lawson
Hope all of you will keep Bill Lawson in your thoughts and prayers as he undergoes his second hip replacement. I’m sure he doesn’t mind me letting you know why you won’t see his name in the paper for a while. I know from visiting with Bill and others who have had different body parts replaced, especially knees, it is not a fun operation and the rehab is no fun. God speed, Bill.
Help the Maumelle band raise some money and hear a great concert
The Natural State Brass Band will perform its spring concert at the Maumelle High School auditorium on Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. Admission is only $5 and all proceeds benefit the Maumelle High School Band.
If you have never heard this band, you owe it to yourself to catch this concert and the see the beautiful auditorium at the high school. Yours truly will provide narration for the event.
Neal Moore is COE (Chief of Everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. If you have a community concern or if you’re just irritated about something contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.