We've been eagerly awaiting to hear news on our SOAR grant application. The SOAR committee met on 2/4 and had numerous items to discuss. Unfortunately, the meeting ran long and they were unable to finish that meetings agenda; meaning no discussions took place regarding the SOAR grant. We will keep our ear to the ground in hopes of hearing something before our next meeting.
At the last meeting, we started the process of requesting bids for a survey of the land borders of the park. This is a key element needed before opening since a large portion of the park borders land that is currently held by the Parks Service. Unfortunately, only one bid was received and was subsequently rejected. The board voted to request a new round of bids with a larger scope in order to attract more potential bidders. Information for the bid will be posted on the website and Facebook pages soon.
Committee member Ian Teal was tasked at the previous meeting with assessing our proposed renovations for the old Sun Oil building on the property. This is the building that will eventually house the offices, shop, etc. Given Ian's previous experience with rehabilitating properties, he was asked to specifically look at the building to see if our proposed grant funding of $30,000 could accomplish all the tasks the board had previously laid out. Ian believed that the funding should be sufficient to complete everything. The next step will be to work with architects and contractors to compose an order of work that will be used when requesting bids for the rehab.
Ever since Wolfe County Tourism generously donated money in order to get a dedicate worker for the park, questions have been swirling around the legal issues involved with hiring a worker for a multi county entity. Issues like: who is responsible for the worker, who holds insurance on the worker, what type of employment should be used, etc. These questions have been settled by Wolfe County Tourism and the boards lawyer. The new worker will be hired under the Wolfe County Tourism Commission. This removes the few hurdles in getting this person going. Look for requests for application in the coming weeks.