City Begins Search For New Park Location

The opposition to the location of the Fortner Street Park may have stopped that project, but the city of Dothan is actively searching for a new spot in a particular part of the city.

The number of people who have disagreed with an idea to place a baseball field and senior center near the intersection of Fortner Street and Honeysuckle Road would be an understatement.

Though that location is out of the question now, the recreation board held a meeting Thursday discussing its plan to place a park in the same district as the Doug Tew Community Center. It’s the oldest recreation center in the city that many say is in need of an upgrade.

The city is looking for an area around 40 acres to place a new ballpark and senior center, and they hope to do so using the publics input in the next two weeks.

James Bowman of Leisure Services said, "Westgate; we had the land 10 years before we could do anything; Eastgate was six years before we got to do anything and Doug Tew is about 10 years behind on what needs to be done."

City officials say they are looking at about one dozen different properties in the District 3; the American District starting at West Main and going down through South Oates Street.

Johnny Middlebrooks, with the Recreation Board said, "You know you can't find that much acreage. Sometimes primarily, that's where we look first, [to] see if we can find some land in the middle of the district so it can be easy for everyone to get there."

City Manager Mike West said there were promises made to the youth baseball organizations for progress, and the city needed to move towards fulfilling that promise. Officials think once land is purchased, a park could see games in as soon as one year.

The city is expecting to see a price of $15,000 dollars an acre, and the fact that they are looking for land in a specific area might drive the price up.

They are committed to finding it soon.

The committee will meet next week on August 27th, hoping to narrow the number of properties down to three before the September 14th meeting.

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