Improvement projects for the City of Jackson at Hillcrest Pool, the Jackson Senior Citizens Center, Hammertown Lake, Manpower Park and the city's Bike Path were discussed Wednesday evening, June 20 at a meeting of Jackson City Council's Service Committee.

Mayor Randy Heath told councilmen -- six of the seven councilmen were present -- he has developed a road map for the proposed package of projects, but that details could be changed as part of the planning process. The projects involve mostly grant money as well as the city's Tree Harvest funds, which can be used only for recreation-related projects. At a later time, Council would have to authorize the use of the Tree Harvest funds.

The proposed projects at the Senior Citizens Center property on Mound Street are in conjunction with, but separate from the $500,000 Neighborhood Revitalization grant the city was previously awarded. As part of the application, the city committed to developing related community projects, including a park which would feature a new T-ball baseball field, basketball court and parking area.

The city is currently in the process of securing the deed to that portion of the property, which is to the west of the building. Tree Harvest funds would be used. Heath believes the addition of the park will help revitalize the neighborhood, but will make no move until everything falls into place.

Heath's proposal calls for spending up to $71,968.60 for a parking area, $31,275 for a basketball court, $8,000 for a new ballfield, and an additional option of spending $31,179 for a new walking path.

Councilmen expressed concerns about the spending of the additional money for the walking path and this option will likely not be kept as part of the package.

Furthermore, Heath reported that a coalition of local veterans' groups still want to develop a new shelter house for the Senior Citizens property. Heath said the city is prepared to support and he has tentatively budgeted $1,000 in Tree Harvest funds should this money be needed.

The mayor's proposed project for Hammertown Lake calls for spending $39,384 in Tree Harvest funds for a new boat-launching area with a turnaround circle to be built on the Beaver Pike side of the lake. However, some councilmen expressed a preference for making improvements to the existing boat-launching area on the park side of the lake. It's likely an improvement will indeed be made, the question is where.

Improvement projects at the city's Manpower Park on East Main Street will be mainly funded by a $75,000 in State Capital funds and $14,467 from a state NatureWorks grant. The city will have to tap $8,000 in Tree Harvest funds as a match for the NatureWorks grant.

The state money will fund a new serpentine walkway, period lighting, a new electrical system, a new public-address system, new and/or repaired playground equipment, and drainage work. Heath told The Telegram that the city has yet to receive the State Capital funds, but he hopes the work can be coordinated once it begins.

Council members spoke favorably of the Manpower Park projects and pointed out that many events are held there and bring a variety of people of groups to Jackson and that many people would benefit from the improvements.

At the Hillcrest Park and Pool, the city wants to build a shelter house at the southeast corner as well as a bocce court with the shelter house expected to cost in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 and the bocce court $1,000. The new shelter house will replace one which was recently torn down due its major defects.

The administration is also working to extend the city's Bike Path and would utilize a $70,000 state grant for this project. More details will be forthcoming.

Heath thanked council members for their cooperation and would like to get started on these projects this year if possible.