The Madison County Recreation Department is seeking a $50,000 matching grant for a concession area for the planned soccer fields at the Sammy Haggard Park off Hwy. 98. Recreation director Dick Perpall said the department hopes to have the two new soccer fields, which are accessed off Brewer Phillips Road, playable by 2012.

The grant, if approved by the Department of Natural Resources, will help cover the cost of a concession, restroom and storage facility next to the fields.

The department is also focusing on running a water line to the fields for irrigation. Fences and a septic system will also need to be installed.

Perpall said that once the irrigation system is in place, the fields can be planted.

“We’d like it to sit for a good year before it’s played on,” said Perpall, noting that playing too early could lead to poor field quality.

The county approved $1 million in sales tax money for the recreation department expansion. The six-year special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) runs through 2012. The department currently has about $100,000 in SPLOST money designated for the recreation department. Perpall said that everyone recognizes that SPLOST is not bringing in as much as initially expected. He said the department is focusing on getting the fields ready for play — at least during the day — by 2012 with the limited funding available.

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