Turrell to receive park grant

Mayor ‘excited’ about $45,000 in FUN funds

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Turrell Mayor Dorothy Cooper got the best birthday present she could ever have asked for. The city was notified by the Governor’s office on Dec. 17 that it had been awarded a $45,000 grant to build a city park. “I’m so excited,” Cooper said. “This is tremendous news. I’m just overjoyed.” The money is part of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism FUN (Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods) Grant Program which assists cities and counties in developing neighborhood outdoor recreation facilities. The grants are targeted to areas of the state which do not presently have park facilities. Cooper applied for the money in the fall and spoke to members of the Outdoor Advisory Board in Jacksonville to plead her case for Turrell. “Turrell has never had a park in the city,” Cooper said. “We had a full basketball court near the high school and a swing-set at the elementary school. But never an actual community park.” The proposed park will be built next to the fire station and will include a pavilion, children’s playground, and a half basketball court. “The city owns the land,” Cooper said. “We already had it surveyed.” Cooper said she is thrilled for the children of Turrell. The grant represents the fulfillment of a campaign promise she made to the city’s youth. “I promised the children I would work diligently to get them a park because there isn’t anything for them to do,” Cooper said. “I would not stop. The library had my heart. But this park has my everything.” Cooper recently cut the ribbon on a new city library branch which she had worked on for over four years. The library is housed in a trailer which was donated to the city by Mid-South Community College and is being funded in part by the county as part of its county-wide library system. Cooper said she expects to be able to announce some other news related to the park as well. “We will have some other news too to go along with it,” Cooper said. “But I can’t announce that right now.”

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