The city is building a new park and a decision has to be made soon aboutnwhat to put on the park's two soccer fields.
Russellville received $1.5 million from the state Environmental and Public Protection cabinet in 2007 to build the new park. The funds were taken from a multi-million dollar settlement between the state who sued Rockwell
International Corp., a long-serving industry in Russellville who released
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) into the environment.
At a meeting held Nov. 3, the council voted not to accept a bid for $457,601 to place artificial turf on the two soccer fields. At that meeting, Councilman Lanny McPherson said sand-based Bermuda grass would be more cost efficient than turf. He also worried about the burden turf may put on the taxpayers in 10 to 11 years when it may need to be replaced.
At a unofficial gathering held Nov. 17 between the mayor and three of his council members more discussion showed there may not be enough funds to finish the park if turf is purchased; however, mayor Gene Zick holds steadfast to leaving that up to the donation process. At a regularly scheduled meeting held Tuesday, McPherson said after researching sand-based Bermuda grass further he didn't think the city needed to go in that direction either.
"After talking to more people about sand-based Bermuda grass, I have found it is not one we can use," said McPherson adding, "There are several problems with sand-based grass one being there are no specifications. There are hundreds of combinations. I talked to Dr. Powell at the University of Kentucky and he said we should choose between artificial turf or natural grass."
McPherson said his biggest focus was finishing the park.
For more on this story, read Friday's edition of the News-Democrat & Leader.