Picayune City Council Approves $2 Million Friendship Park Turf Re-Grading

Published 10:46 am Thursday, August 10, 2023

The next phase of Friendship Park is set to undergo a significant transformation as the Picayune City Council has granted authorization for a $2,093,255 turf re-grading project. This upgrade aims to enhance the park’s infrastructure and erosion control, focusing on improving the infields of Fields 1, 2, 3, and 4, as well as the outfield regrading of Fields 6 and 7.

The project has been awarded to Rotolo Consultants Inc.

Notably, the funding for this endeavor will not be sourced from taxpayer funds alone. A substantial portion of the required funds will come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund (GCRF). In 2020, the city secured $1.9 million from the GCRF to kickstart the initial phase of Friendship Park’s development. Combined with city-matched funds, the total amount for the first phase reached $2.4 million. Following this phase, approximately $1.1 million remained in the budget, prompting the decision to focus on re-turfing specific fields.

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Initially, the bid for re-turfing all the fields amounted to nearly $2.8 million, surpassing the budget limitations. After careful consideration, the city allocated funds towards re-grading the prioritized areas, ultimately reducing the project cost to just under $2.1 million. The funding breakdown includes $1.1 million from the 2020 GCRF allocation, $500,000 from HB60, $293,000 from City Council appropriations, and $200,000 from the Capital Projects budget.

The Picayune City Parks Director, Trevor Adam, expressed enthusiasm about the project’s potential impact: “This is just another step to give people another reason to come to Picayune.” The overarching goal is to position Picayune as a sports destination capable of hosting sporting events and tournaments that will bring the area both recognition and economic benefits.

The city’s vision extends beyond the immediate upgrade. Officials anticipate revenue from hosting tournaments and events in the upgraded park can be reinvested into the community. The success of Friendship Park’s makeover is expected to serve as a model for enhancing other parks within Picayune, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of the city and its residents.