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City, County to host groundbreaking ceremony for park improvements

Construction to begin at Luetta Moore Park and Rev. W.D. Kent Park March 12

The City of Statesboro and Bulloch County will host a groundbreaking ceremony at Luetta Moore Park and Rev. W.D. Kent Park on March 16, 2021, to mark the beginning of an approximately $4.5 million improvement project at the two existing parks. The ceremony will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Luetta Moore Park located at 585 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Statesboro, GA.

The ceremony will include remarks from Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar and Bulloch County Board of Commissioners Chairman Roy Thompson. After formal remarks are given and the ground is broken at Luetta Moore Park, city and county officials will drive to Rev. W.D. Kent Park located at 1 West Grady Street, Statesboro, GA, to break ground.

Luetta Moore Park previously consisted of a softball field, little league field, playground, basketball court and multipurpose building. After completion of the improvement project, the park will retain the multipurpose building, little league field and basketball court and will add a volleyball court, therapeutic swimming pool, splash pad, bath house, ADA compliant multi-age playground, two family pavilions with grills, improved lighting, security cameras, expanded parking and WiFi access. The softball field will be removed to make way for the pool and splash pad.

Rev. W.D. Kent Park previously featured 6 half basketball courts. Once improvements are completed, the park will have a covered basketball pavilion as well as an ADA compliant multi-age playground, two family picnic pavilions with grills, an outdoor half basketball court, an accessible walking trail, drinking fountain, new parking lot, improved lighting, security cameras, and renovated bathrooms.

Funding for the park improvements is provided through bond financing with the Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA) of the City of Statesboro. The URA is a redevelopment agency that was established to facilitate the park improvements and consists of Statesboro’s Mayor, City Council, and five community leaders.

During its last meeting on March 2, the URA approved a $4.5 million bond resolution through Truist Bank (formerly BB&T) with an interest rate of 1.47% to fund the park improvements. The bond will be repaid through an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Statesboro and Bulloch County. The city has committed $220,000 annually and the county has committed $200,000 annually from the 2019 SPLOST fund to cover the debt through 2024. It is anticipated the future funding of the bond will be proposed as part of the 2024 SPLOST referendum to be considered by Bulloch County voters in November 2024.

The improvements are projected to be completed by early summer 2021 with weather permitting. Both parks will continue to be under the management of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks & Recreation Department.

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