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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2007
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Vernon Offord plants pansies in Decatur's pocket park Monday.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Vernon Offord plants pansies in Decatur's pocket park Monday.

Pocket park renovation nears completion

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

With the obstacles that slowed progress on the downtown pocket park this summer out of the way, the end of the renovation could be just a month away.

In September, all electrical work was completed, including installation of light fixtures. That cleared the way for the final work of putting in irrigation and planting shrubs and flowers.

"It doesn't look like it, but it's real close," said Clint Shelton, chairman of
the Decatur Beautification Board, which has overseen the 11/2-year project at the Second Avenue Southeast park.

"I'm really hoping all the plants will come in and we'll be done in a month."

Now it's just a matter of taking care of a list of small projects, mostly cosmetic items, he said.

One of the most urgent is finding a mason to patch and repair brick pavers. Crews had to cut out some bricks to install irrigation, and the city also is removing two concrete pads that once supported phone booths.

Other remaining details include touch-up painting around the fountain, applying a dull stain over paint, sprinkler head installation, pressure washing, mulching flower beds and setting up the metal furniture.

Valley Nursery has planted magnolias, azaleas, pansies and aspidistra in the past week. As other plants become available, it will add the growing vines for the trellis and crepe myrtles.

The board has spent more than $30,000, mostly on lighting, furniture and plants. It also has secured free materials and services to make and install the steel trellis, as well as for fountain repair and electrical and architectural services. Decatur Parks and Recreation installed the irrigation.

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