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Recreation: County reviews bids for Stables Park

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Construction bids for recreation facilities at Stables Park are in and they have Georgetown County officials smiling.

“We had a really good response and got some really good competitive bids, and a lot of them are local, which is wonderful,” said Beth Goodale, the county recreation director.

A pre-bid conference for tennis and soccer facilities at Stables Park attracted 28 contractors last month. Several were specialized subcontractors interested in the tennis courts. Nine bids were received.

A pre-bid conference for buildings at the park, or “vertical construction,” attracted 18 contractors. The county got 11 bids.

Neither contract has been awarded.

“I’m still checking references,” Goodale said Wednesday. “They came in within budget, but we want to make sure we have the most responsive subcontractors on the deal.”

Low bids will be presented to County Council this month. Construction should start by the end of the year. The park is scheduled to open late next year.

A recreation center at Parkersville Park will follow a similar schedule and Goodale expects competitive bids for that project as well. A pre-bid conference attracted 23 general contractors.

Stables Park will be on the Planning Commission agenda this month when it considers a request from AT&T to put up a 154-foot cell tower there.

The company wants to lease a site in the park for the tower, which would go near the southeastern property line, near the end of Parkersville Road.

“There’s woods there now,” said Boyd Johnson, the county planning director. “I don’t personally think it will be very visible.”

And it will be good news to AT&T users on Waccamaw Neck.

“I know people with iPhones particularly have trouble in that area,” he said. But only those with AT&T iPhones, not Verizon iPhones.

The “stealth tower” would be designed to look like a flag pole.

“It even has a ball on top,” Johnson said. “Some communities even put flags on them and they offered to do that here.”

The park is also being rezoned to “forest agriculture,” which allows cell towers. Most of the site has residential zoning that doesn’t allow cell towers.

If the commission approves the tower, County Council will still have to approve the lease.

The company paid a $5,000 fee to file the application for the tower. Johnson doesn’t know how much the annual lease would bring in.

Letters have gone out to neighboring property owners. “So far, we’ve gotten one or two calls, but they weren’t opposed to the rezoning or the tower,” Johnson said.

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