Chapel Hill seeks own parks

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CHAPEL HILL -- With more than two dozen people present, Mayor Carl Cooper appointed four new members of the Park and Recreation Board on Monday as town leaders encouraged residents to help that panel develop more playing fields.

Perhaps more remarkable than the size of the crowd that was bolstered by children bored with grownup talk, were two reasons given for a better park. It wasn't just another place to play. It was to save on gas driving to fields in Lewisburg and to keep sales tax revenue for Chapel Hill.

The town park has about 15 acres along Depot Street near the railroad underpass. The open field has one soccer field. A baseball complex and more soccer fields have been proposed, Town Administrator Mike Hatton said.

The Park and Recreation Board may have up to 10 members. There were only four until the mayor appointed Betsy Bishop, Jeff Hoeft, Lori Curtis and Melinda Paul to help Chairman Craig Blackwell, Beth Warner, Sylvia Matthews and Alderman Houston "Bucko" Bryant.

Even before Chapel Hill's monthly meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen began Monday evening, parents and coaches like Johnny Lyons of the coach pitch team sponsored by Mopey's Family Restaurant were talking about how they've got to drive to Lewisburg so the kids can play ball.

The message had already reached the mayor through unexpected calls.

"My telephone has been ringing all weekend," Cooper said. "Someone from Mt. Juliet, who I never heard of, called about a program we might or might . . .Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 11, 2008, for entire story