Play, parades and delays at town meeting

Published 8:30 pm Friday, November 15, 2013

BATH — The director of N.C. Institute for Child Development has teamed up with Bath Girl Scouts and their goal is to build a play trail to create and connect play spaces in Bath.

Debra Torrence and the scouts presented their proposal to the Bath Town Council Monday night: using existing town-owned land, docks and walking paths to map out fun things for kids to do while visiting Bath.

“It’s not a red, yellow and blue playground idea,” Torrence said. “There’s lots of kids who come here but there’s not a lot of things for kids to do.”

Torrence said they’d like to incorporate temporary play experiences — like fort-building — that could be done on town property during a day-long event, then broken down. The idea is to launch the first such project during Bath Fest 2014, she said.

Planning is in the early stages and Torrence requested a return appearance to the council in February. In the interim, Torrence’s team will be identifying potential play spaces, marking partner connections and identifying funding sources for the project.

Also addressed at the town meeting was a request to close the streets of Bath for the Bath Christmas parade on Dec. 1. It’s the first time the parade has ever been held on Thanksgiving weekend, as Thanksgiving’s fourth Thursday in November and the Bath parade’s first Sunday in December haven’t fallen on the same weekend. Council voted to close the streets of Bath from “bridge to bridge” at 2 p.m. on parade day. So far, close to 100 entries have signed up for the parade, but organizers are expecting more. Last year’s parade had 175 entries.

A 90-day construction extension by the engineers of Bath’s new wastewater treatment center has also been requested. According to Town Administrator Bubs Carson, grant money not becoming available when expected has delayed the construction process. Carson said he received a letter from Morrison Contractors saying some of the work had slowed. Commissioner Keith Tankard questioned why, with the completion date coming up soon, this was the first mention of an extension for the project.

“Every time the contractors have been here, I have asked whether they were on schedule and they have said yes,” Tankard said. “Why are we down to the wire?”

In other utilities news, the town is now on the lookout for a used truck for use by town maintenance employees. The cost of repairing the old one was more than the truck’s worth, according to Carson.