ATLANTA—House Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-Newington), state Rep. Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon), and state Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville) announced that the Effingham County Recreation Complex will receive $100,000 in grant funding from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources through the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“This is wonderful news for Effingham County, and we are thrilled to begin work on the new recreation complex,” said Burns. “This multipurpose complex will serve as an economic development tool for our county, as well as a site that will deeply enrich the lives of our children and our community as a whole. Thank you to the Department of Natural Resources for their generous contribution to helping develop the future of Effingham County.”
The county has approximately 120 acres off Highway 21 and Ralph Rahn Road set aside for a new recreation complex.
The first phase will have baseball and softball fields, with two 335-foot fields and three 325-foot fields. There also will be a support building with concessions and a restroom and the park also will include an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground. There also are plans for a gymnasium with two basketball courts.
“I’m over happy. I’m ecstatic,” said county commission Chairman Wendall Kessler. “Everything about the thing costs more money than we were budgeting, so this will help us balance that and get the gymnasium built.”
The LWCF is a federally-funded, state-administered grant program that has been in existence since 1965. The LWCF grants assist cities, counties, state and federal agencies and recreation commissions and authorities in acquiring, developing and renovating outdoor recreation lands and facilities.
“DNR is excited to award this grant money for the Effingham County Recreation Complex project,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Williams. “We hope you will help us in congratulating Effingham County for their efforts to provide quality recreational experiences for the citizens of Georgia.”
The county is finalizing schematic drawings with CHA Sports and also is ironing out delivering water and sewer service to the site. Kessler said the county is probably three months away from the start of construction.