McKinney: City projects proceeding smoothly

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Berryville is making fast progress on city projects this summer.

Mayor Tim McKinney said Monday that the city is hoping to have both the Freeman Street extension and the adjoining soccer complex completed by next summer.

“We’ve been really pleased with the road project,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be close to complete if not complete by the time school is done. We are trying to get the part up near the school complete.”

McKinney said the city will have to wait before it connects the Freeman Avenue extension to Highway 62 because the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department doesn’t release funding until September.

“We have to do it their way since we’re getting $400,000 from them for the grant,” he said. “I think long-term it’s going to be a great thing for the city. I think it’s going to open up a lot of area for development, and it’s going to help a lot with traffic flow there at the Freeman Avenue and Highway 62 intersection.”

The new Berryville Soccer Complex, he said, will have about six fields for local youth.

“There won’t be any adult-sized fields. It’s all going to be youth soccer,” he said. “We’re going to keep the current fields for adult soccer.”

McKinney said the city has a preliminary plan to get everything level for the soccer fields.

“We expect to get the final plan this week that will have the concession stand, walking trails, irrigation system and other parts that we’re going to bid out into separate jobs,” he said. “The city has primarily been working on getting everything to grade.”

McKinney continued, “We were able to use some of what they had to remove from Freeman Avenue to get our soccer complex all to grade. We didn’t have to pay to have all that fill brought in here to get everything level.”

Doing both projects at once has saved the city thousands of dollars, he said, by not having to haul in fill.

“What doesn’t make for a good road makes for a good base for a soccer field,” McKinney said.

The city is trying to put the sod and irrigation system in for the fields now, he said, so the grass can start growing this fall.

“We want to get the grass growing and get it established later this fall,” McKinney said. “That’s going to be our first priority in getting the field ready. Hopefully, kids will be playing soccer on the fields by next summer.”

After the grass is established, he said the city will work on building the concession stand and the walking trails around the perimeter of the field.

McKinney said the Berryville Soccer Complex will be a nice addition for the city.

“During soccer season, I think we’ve got kids playing soccer on every flat place in town,” he said. “The school lets them use some of their facilities, and we have people playing soccer at the baseball fields and everywhere else.”

McKinney said these two projects would not be possible if Berryville residents had not voted to approve the extension of the city’s half-cent sales tax.

“We’re pleased the people of Berryville saw the need and voted for the tax that’s making these projects possible,” he said. “Hats off to the people of Berryville for having the foresight and wisdom to fund these projects. They’re the ones who voted for this.”

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