Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:48 a.m. on Jan. 3 to reflect that Lakeview Park is not operated by the city.
Of the nine parks operated by the city — Capitol View, Cove Spring, East Frankfort, Juniper Hill, Leslie Morris, River View and Todd — Dolly Graham Park, located on the east side of South Frankfort, is the one most in need of upgrades, according to City Commissioner Scott Tippett, who wants to allocate some of the nearly $2 million in the city’s surplus coffers for the River Street park in the very near future.
Since being elected to the city commission four years ago, Scott Tippett has pushed for renovations at Dolly Graham and last week in an email to fellow elected city leaders he stressed the immediacy of getting the project off the ground, saying “it is time” to get it done.
“There should be no question that it should be one of our top priorities,” he told The State Journal, noting a forthcoming state grant to help with the project.
The funding would go toward much needed updates of the playground equipment, parking lots, pavilions, basketball courts, water fountains and bathrooms and, if Tippett gets his way, the installation of a splash pad similar to the one at Lakeview Park.
Tippett’s remarks came after Greg Miklavcic, a partner at Charles T. Mitchell Co., presented the city’s 2019 audit findings to the commission and pointed out that with nearly $18 million in reserves, now would be a good time to spend money.
“With the additional grant money we should be able to make it a complete overhaul — infrastructure, sewer infrastructure, drinking water would all be brought up to first-rate status,” Tippett added.
We agree that Dolly Graham Park is in dire need of upgrades and should be a priority. However, there are also expensive renovations that should be made to the soccer fields shared by the three high school teams at Capitol View Park. Judicious use of the city's surplus reserve funds can ensure that both Dolly Graham and Capitol View receive the urgent attention they deserve.