Monthly Archives: August 2015

New Recreation Field Master Plan

This is our new master plan for the fields behind our pool.  The paths shown encircling the area are going to be concreted.  There’s much more room for soccer because of it’s growth.  Earl and Darnell have done a fantastic job growing our community’s soccer program and they’re bringing families into the community to eat, play, and shop.  This plan basically doubles the size we currently provide for soccer.  The area by Emberson Drive is going to be a wounded warriors playground for everyone, but especially the disabled in and around our community.  Disabled kids who want to play will have a place, and disabled parents can actually go on the playground and play with their kids.  A splash pad is beside the pool that will come in the future.   We’ve also added a lot of parking along Emberson, by the soccer fields, and by our new canoe launch.  We’re excited to finally be moving forward with a plan.  Grading and drainage work is slated to begin this Fall to ready the fields and pathways.

Master Plan

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The Case for a Dog Park

There are many reasons for this need, but first and foremost it is a good thing for the dogs in our community.  Dog owners know that pets are a part of the family, and they need a place to run and play in Ringgold.  Having a healthy social life and exercise is the most effective way of having a happy dog that is well adjusted.  We have many responsible dog owners who take their dogs for walks and ensure they get exercise, but in order to get quality interaction with other dogs, we have to leave our community.  There may be no cheaper cost to benefit ratio for our community than a dog park.  We actually already have a park area that is ready to go with no building of fences necessary.

Dog Park

Blue outlined area is already fenced in. Orange area is dugouts, and can be used for unleashing dogs to release into park.

Behind our Ringgold pool, we have a ball field that is perfectly set up to accommodate a dog park.  The fence is up, and there is an unleashing double fence already in place in the form of bullpens.  The re-purposing of these ball fields would be a wonderful addition to our community that so many families would enjoy.

dog park

Unleashing area. There’s two dugouts. One can be for large dogs and one can be for small dogs. We just need a divider through the field.

We would have a great deal of interest and traffic brought to our downtown area if we could bring this change about.  Not only citizens within the city, but also visitors from surrounding communities would come in and utilize our park.  That is good for our local businesses in the downtown area and our community’s tax base.

Some on the council have expressed nostalgia for the ball park use of our recreation fields, but there has been almost no baseball on the one remaining ball field since I’ve been on the council (4 years).  I share in that nostalgia as I used to play on those fields as a kid. It has just been so many years since the fields have been used for any kind of baseball/softball.  My cross country kids run through the nature trail daily, and I regularly go there with my daughters.  I can’t remember the last time I saw it being used for baseball.  With newer ball fields at Seabolt, Jack Mattox, and surrounding schools (Ringgold Middle is adding one soon), we don’t have as big of a need for ball fields.  Aggressive marketing may not even keep that lone ball field busy.  One field certainly can’t accommodate tournaments.  Soccer currently uses it for their younger age groups, but with an anticipated expansion for their fields in our recreation master plan, they will not be affected by this change.

Help is needed in making this change happen.  If you are a dog owner in the city, or you are just interested in our city moving forward in a positive direction, please contact your council members.  I put it on the agenda for our August 24th meeting, but could not garner enough votes to make it happen.  Without the voice of people in the community, this may not get done.

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City Moving to Well Water

Ringgold is on the verge of predominantly using well water for our city’s water needs.  We’ve drilled a test well on Poplar Springs Road, and the early indications of water quality and sustainability all look very promising.  There are 3 areas in particular in which this is a big deal for our city.

First of all, the amount of chemicals we have to put into the water will be significantly reduced.  The water we currently treat from the creek at our water plant takes a very large amount of chemicals in order to make it potable.  We are responsible and safe in treating that water, but with the amount of chemicals being so significantly reduced, there is much less room for error.  The water in the well will need some chlorine, fluoride, and treatment to make it softer, but much less than we are currently using.

Secondly, the cost of utilizing well water is greatly reduced compared to what it takes to currently treat the creek water,  however there will be initial costs involved in order to connect the well source to our current system.  Laying the amount of pipe needed will be a fairly high cost, but that will pay for itself over the next few years.  The money is already within our budget in the form of our SPLOST money.  The 2014 SPLOST estimates say we will accumulate about 2.5 million dollars over the time we collect that tax, and that money is already earmarked just for this type of endeavor.  The aquifer we’ve tapped into pumps over 500 gallons per minute, which more than accommodates the city’s current water usage.  By also keeping our city’s water plant online at the creek, we will ultimately be in a position to sell water to surrounding areas, whereas we have had to buy water at times in the past.

One of the biggest benefits I am hoping for is improving the taste of our water.  I’ve payed attention to various public water sources since I’ve been elected, and it seems that our city has about average taste when it comes to our water.  Periodically, as I have been going door to door campaigning, people tell me they don’t like the taste of our city water.  I’ve lived here all my life, and perhaps I can’t tell that it doesn’t taste good because I’ve become so accustomed to the taste.  Improved quality and taste is something I think would be wonderful for our city.

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