Horseshoe Bend to build new park on highway intersection

HORSESHOE BEND, AR (KAIT) - The latest census for Horseshoe Bend puts a majority of the kids that live in town far from recreational facilities.

However, Mayor Bob Barnes says there is a new park in the works nearby.

The original plan for Horseshoe Bend was a town the size for 50,000 people.

Mayor Barnes said that never happened. In fact the current population is around Two Thousand.

Barnes, "A large town with a small amount of people."  And it appears the planners left something out.

Barnes, "There's no really city park as such."

But by summer the sounds of children at play could ring out over a lot due to a *FUN* grant the city has received.

The park itself is about a mile from the downtown center of Horseshoe Bend. The mayor says they are building it in a mobile home area because this is where the majority of the children live. The census estimates about 160 kids live in the park.

The park will be located on the corner of North Bend and Ridge Street.

Barnes, "This is the mobile home area and the majority of the young children live in this area right here. There is nothing near them where they can go to."

Barnes says he has been working on this idea for several years but the cities fire house burning three years ago and the ice storm put it on the back burner until this year.

The lot is about one square acre.

Barnes, "We will build a pavilion in it, a 20 by 25 foot pavilion, we'll have a half court basketball court in it and they'll be some play ground equipment ."

The only equipment currently on the lot is a couple of teeter totters. And a couple of swings. Mayor Barnes says he is going to stretch the grant money out as far as he can. The money for the park will come from the state.

Barnes, "We chose the FUN grant which 45 Thousand is the maximum grant you could get for it. It's funded through the Parks and Tourism of Arkansas."

Barnes says he is eager to get the park underway. "We haven't had our pre-construction meeting yet but hopefully will have that in the next two or three weeks and then we will get started on it."

With luck and good weather Barnes says the park should be ready for play by summer.

Barnes, "We should be done this year without any problems. I would think that within 4 months it should be complete."

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