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The Tallassee Recreation Center

New rec facilities discussed

By Michael Butler

Plans are moving forward for development of recreational facilities in Tallassee. Among the possibilities include a new recreation center.

The City of Tallassee and Tallassee City Schools are working in conjunction with the Elmore County Economic Development Authority and the Elmore County Commission on funding from a hotel lodging tax for the upgrades.

Dollars have already been funneled into projects in Wetumpka and Millbrook. Phase two is to allocate monies for Tallassee, Eclectic and Holtville.

Citizens participated in surveys prioritizing their preferences.

"The response has been tremendous," said ECEDA executive director Lisa Van Wagner. "Really good data came from all three communities."

The county's potential contribution for Tallassee is in the $10 million range, noted Mayor Sarah Hill.

"The Elmore County Commission has committed to provide Tallassee some projects," Hill said. "Based on what we saw in the quality of life surveys is that the majority of the citizens of Tallassee would like a new recreation center or community center. We're pushing forward to get some concepts developed. I'm hoping to have drawings by the end of the year."

The property where the rec center and city shop now sit would be the site for the new facility and other potential developments. The city has 17 acres of land there.

"In addition, we're looking at some walking and jogging trails that would go near Noble Subdivision. We would also like to see some multi-purpose fields go there or where the school has some land at Friendship Road. We understand some people are looking for a splash pad and other fun things. This is going to be a long-term project."

Putting in new artificial turf at J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium is expected after next season

Tallassee City Schools superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin spoke of the plans for J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium that would also come from the same coffers.

"We put together a four-part plan," said Nolin. "Number one is to put in an artificial playing surface at the stadium and practice field."

Nolin added that a new track at the elementary school would be in the long-term plans.

"We're appreciative that they're willing to share some of that tax with us. The way they have it teed up now is possibly starting at the end of the fall football season."