Benson City Manager Vicki Vivian and Public Works Director Brad Hamilton continue to hail the praises for the collaborative effort on the Lions Park improvements project.
The city has benefited greatly from more than $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding since 2013. The ambitious parks improvement plan has included Americans With Disability Act compliant restrooms, corresponding sidewalks and ramps. This year a new concession stand, scoreboard and landscaping and last year new baseball sod for the Mauldin Field infield, along with various upgrades throughout the park.
Getting to that point has taken much planning, communication and plain ’ole brainstorming with a variety of community stakeholders from the business and private sectors. It’s those intangible relationships that have helped hammer projects through to fruition, an aspect not lost on Vivian or Hamilton.
The project entailed personnel from public works, utilities, parks, inspections, as well as the administrative office staff, who manned phones and kept close to the grindstone and which helped get a scoreboard to Lions Park, as well as the mayor, council, community and donors.
The city is also grateful for the scoreboard sponsorships.
“...The sponsors were and are important,” said Vivian. “Each year, we’ll be contacting them to see if they want to continue that sponsorship, and others who may want to have their business name – or even their senior’s name on the scoreboard for a year.”
Derived funding will benefit future park improvements, said Vivian.
That’s not all, Vivian noted, citing longstanding partnerships with Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative and Southeast Arizona Governments Association
“We had assistance from SSVEC and SEAGO,” said Vivian. “SEAGO administers the CDBG projects for us and keeps us on track with all the necessary requirements that are grant-related, from beginning – public hearings, publication requirements, etc. to closing out the grant).
“SSVEC does so much for the City, not only with this project, but in helping us decorate the trees at City Hall for the Christmas Tree Lighting, participating in the Light Parade, not only providing Santa’s ride for the night, but in prizes for the floats. They help decorate Fourth Street by putting up the Christmas decorations, too. We definitely appreciate everything they do for us!”
Hamilton agrees, having regularly noted contributions from SSVEC, SEAGO and the community.