The Effingham County Recreation Department’s sprawling Sand Hill complex is nearing completion after commissioners approved a long slate of projects for that park and several others.
In addition to approving a bid for metal bench covers at Sand Hill, commissioners also OK’d a bid for three pavilions at the park. With those projects, the work planned for Sand Hill is just about finished, ECRD director Clarence Morgan, with the exception of the skate park.
“We had no bidders for the skate park,” he said.
Morgan added the walking trail will go around the park.
“The majority of it will be together,” he said.
Said Commissioner Myra Lewis: “I’m proud of any progress there.”
New bathrooms were part of the recreation department’s 10 projects that came before the commissioners at their Dec. 11 meeting. Commissioners approved new restrooms for Abercorn Landing and Tuckasee King Landing, but they also questioned the current status of bathrooms at the department’s facilities.
Chairperson Verna Phillips said she has had several questions about the cleanliness and upkeep of recreation restrooms, specifically at Log Landing.
“If we’re going to have them, we need to make sure they’re clean,” she said. “I’d rather have a regular crew doing nothing but cleaning restrooms than spend the money to add restrooms that are not well kept.”
Morgan said the Log Landing, or Tommy Long Landing, facilities are cleaned Mondays and Fridays. He said he could get a crew out there five days a week if necessary.
But even after the facilities are cleaned, there have been problems. Reports from frequent users say that the restrooms are fouled before noon as fishermen clean their catch and leave the remnants in the bathrooms.
Morgan said the restrooms at Tuckasee King are going up because of the demand placed on that landing from fishing tournaments.
“If we have public facilities, we need to make sure they’re clean,” Phillips said. “If we can’t keep the ones we have clean, we have to have that in place before we add new ones. To have these beautiful facilities and have them destroyed is disheartening to me.”
Morgan said the problems at Baker Pond have been cut down “by 99 percent” with a cleaning crew every weekday and weekend probationers performing the same tasks on the weekends.
He also said there are plans to install a light at both Tuckasee King and Abercorn Landing, but how to get the power to the light across the road to Abercorn Landing needs to resolved.
Also on the recreation department’s to-do list that commissioners approved was an addition to the recreation complex and an open-ended extension to the rec maintenance building.
“We’re about to run out of room,” Morgan lamented.
Commissioners also approved a bid for playgrounds at Tuckasee King and Steel Bridge boat ramp and a climbing wall to be added to Baker Pond.