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Luetta Moore Park project gains approval
The basketball courts at Luetta Moore Park are shown in this file photo from 2008. The Statesboro City Council and Bulloch County Commission approved plans to move ahead with plans to improve the park.
    After years of being put on the back burner, the Luetta Moore Park renovation project took its first concrete step towards reality Tuesday when local leadership voted to jointly fund the project.
    A joint resolution, passed by both the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners and the Statesboro City Council, calls for $550,000 to be set aside for rejuvenation of the ailing park and crumbling community building.
    Luetta Moore Park lies in the center of Councilman Gary Lewis’ voting district. He said the funding for the project is long overdue.
    “I’m excited about it,” Lewis said. “The time is past due.”
    According to City Manager Shane Haynes, the city will kick in the first $250,000 for the project, with the money coming from budget surpluses from years past. The county will cover the rest of the costs and will be responsible for overseeing the construction project. Once the project is completed, the city will retain ownership of the park and land while the county will manage and maintain it through the Bulloch Parks and Recreation department.
    Though plans are not finalized, some decisions have been made.
    Due to the extensive damage, the pool and surrounding pool structures will be removed. Also, the existing community building will be torn down and replaced with a new structure. In addition, the rear parking lot at the end of Church Street will be removed and parking will be relocated to the area currently occupied by the older basketball courts.
    Officials cited safety considerations as the primary reason for moving the parking area closer to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive hoping to stem the criminal activity taking place in the back of the park. The move should allow police officers a better view of the parking area from the road. Bobby Simmons, who owns an apartment building near the parking lot at the end of the street, spoke at the beginning of the council meeting about concerns for his tenant’s security.
    No state date has been announced for the project.
    Phil Boyum may be reached at (912) 489-9454.
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