TOP PHOTO: WLAF’s Charlie Hutson shares this aerial photo from Eagle I taken on Thursday morning of the Caryville Cares Playground site.

CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Nearly two years later, the Caryville Cares Playground appears to still be a work in progress. However, there is an end in sight, according to Brandon Johnson, chairman of the Caryville Cares Playground Project. The playground is projected to be completed by October.

Last night, the Town of Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen met in a workshop with Johnson to discuss progress. Johnson outlined the projected schedule for work.

  • Equipment installation          Sept. 1-Sept. 15
  • Concrete                                Sept. 15- Sept. 30
  • Fencing                                  Sept. 15 -Sept. 30
  • Gate(s)                                   Sept. 15 -Sept. 30
  • PIP foundation                       Oct. 1- Oct. 7  
  • Projected completion            Oct. 15

He also gave the board quotes for the work.

  • Installation                             $54,922
  • PIP foundation                       $165,324.25
  • Fencing                                  $18,492.74
  • Gate                                        $3,500
  • Entrance                                 $3,000
  • Signage                                 $3,000
  • Concrete                                $15,000
  • Excavating                             $15,000

Total cost for the work is     $278,239.24

The playground property sits across from Shoney’s Restaurant at Caryville.

Currently, Caryville Cares has $260,399.11 in its bank account. Johnson reported there should be enough money with the assistance of $19,000 from the Town of Caryville Board of Mayor and Aldermen for incidentals. Johnson reported that should the playground need additional funds, they would begin fundraising to cover the expenses. To date, the group has raised $480,000 for the project. This number does not reflect the in-kind donations received.

Johnson requested the board to have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Caryville Cares. The MOU would state that the town would maintain park security, maintenance and cleanliness in the perpetuity. The town would agree to not change, add or remove any signs, name(s) or the park without Caryville Cares permission, not including signage that has to do with the park’s operations (example: hours, safety warnings).

Alderman Josh Monday expressed concerns about potential legal ramifications for future boards if the MOU was not followed. Alderwoman Vickie Heatherly said she did not see the need for an MOU. At one point in the discussion, Johnson told the board that if there wasn’t an MOU, then we (Caryville Cares) won’t build the park. After a lengthy discussion, the board decided to put the MOU on the August agenda for further discussion.

After the workshop was completed, the board re-adjourned the monthly meeting and voted to pay two invoices for work completed at the playground. The invoices totaled almost $11,000. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/14/2023-6AM)