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Resolution for fishing pond approved

By Staff, 08/23/21 10:41 AM

PRESCOTT – In a special teleconference meeting of the Prescott City Council Monday, the panel approved a resolution to apply for a grant for a fishing pond.

Deadline for the application is Friday, Aug. 27. Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said the site being looked at is the five acres by Baptist Family Clinic on Hwy. 67. The proposed pond would be 4.5 acres and about 12-feet deep with three aerators to help keep is clean.

She told the panel the project engineer would be AL Franks of Texarkana, who recommended a well be drilled to keep the pond filled in dry times as there’s no natural drainage in the area. The pond would also include a 20×30 foot pavilion with picnic tables, benches, a walking trail, trash cans and possibly a pier extending into the pond. For additional safety, Franks recommends a fence along Hwy. 67 to keep children from running out into the highway. The fence would be 622 feet long. There would be an asphalt parking lot with handicap spots and the pond would be handicap accessible. There would also be signs and some landscaping, along with a walking trail around the pond.

The grant would be through the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Godwin pointed out the city has obtained grants through the Parks and Tourism Department for the splash pad, and playground equipment for the parks and sports complex. This would be a 50-50 grant.

Councilman Ivory Curry asked how the well could be protected to keep children and people out of it.

Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver said modern wells are sealed well compared to old wells.

Godwin said she assumes there will be a cover or house over the well, and it would only be used to fill the pond and during dry times.

Councilman Howard Austin asked about the Potlatch pond, which was the initial site proposed for a city fishing pond.

Godwin said the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) evaluated the site and took samples. She said the pond was never meant to be a fishing pond, though people fished there. Its original purpose was as a storm water collection pond for Potlatch. The AGFC said there was a lot of sediment and drainage that would have to be removed, which meant the pond would have to first be drained. The sediment and drainage would also have to be disposed of and the property could never be used or looked at for industrial purposes again. She continued, saying there would also be a problem with people getting to and from the pond because of the short-line railroad and people having to cross railroad tracks.

She told the council the resolution is part of the grant application process and must be approved to show the council supports the project. The city should know if the grant is approved by the end of the year.

Austin asked if the city doesn’t get the grant if the land would be retained for business or other purposes. Godwin said it would and the city can reapply for the grant next year if the council so wishes.

Oliver said if the grant fails, city funds could be used to build the pond, depending on what’s needed for the Prescott Parks and Recreation Department next year.

The resolution was approved and will be submitted by Friday.