Macon ballfield complex to break ground soon

Macon County commissioners unanimously approved the first round of bids to begin construction of a $3.8 million sports complex in Franklin.

The county will pay CTech, a Franklin-based engineering company, $49,750 for site plans, geotechnical engineering and construction oversight. Commissioners also accepted two bids from Ritter Architecture, another Franklin company. For $10,000, the company will design a building to double as a concession stand and scorer’s booth, and $6,000 will go toward designing a pavilion. 

The bids are the first concrete step the county has taken toward turning a 48-acre property it bought last year for $550,000 into a tournament-level ballfield complex. Last month, commissioners decided in a split vote to go ahead with development plans estimated to cost $3.3 million. The result will be a full-on recreation park complete with eight baseball and softball fields, a soccer field, a nine-hole disc golf course, hiking trails and picnic shelters. 

Proponents of the project hail it as an opportunity to engage the county’s youth in sports, while bringing dollars into the community through baseball and softball tournaments. Its detractors contend that those economic benefits are trumped up and that it’s not wise to sink money into a massive capital project during a recession. 

— By Holly Kays

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