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Ribbon cut at Hendrix Park soccer complex

County officials, recreation board members, parents, grandparents, and all 120 members of the 14 soccer teams with their coaches dedicated the new soccer complex at Hendrix Park Tuesday in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Congressman Jack Kingston, State Senator Eric Johnson and State Representative Bob Lane were scheduled to attend the event, but were unable to make it.

Jennifer Reilly of the Pembroke Telephone Company presented a check as a commitment to Hendrix Park to cover the cost of soccer uniforms, although a final amount has not yet been determined.

"Pembroke Telephone Company is happy to contribute to this program and we are so glad to see soccer out here at Hendrix Park," Reilly said.

Pembroke Telephone Company has played a big part in recreation at Hendrix Park, according to Recreation Department Director Pratt Lockwood.

"Over the years, the telephone company has always been a big help to the park, doing little things that nobody ever knows about; burying scoreboard cable, putting conduit down to run the power here, and you'd be surprised how much money that saves the county when they do things like that and it's helped us tremendously," Lockwood said.

Special thanks were also given to Mindy Boyette and Bryan Woods, Hendrix Park Youth Recreation Association Soccer Coordinator for all they have done to turn the complex into a reality.

The $200,000 soccer complex in North Bryan, joining the fishing lake and picnic area is the newest addition to recent upgrades at the park.

Funds used for the fields creation were from $300,000 set aside in the recreation fund for special projects, and not from Specialized Local Option Sales Tax, according to County Commissioner Ed Bacon, 1st district representative.

"This project was developed from special projects funds, but the commissioners have approved 1.5 millage of the taxes toward the upcoming budget to support recreation," Bacon said.

County work crews and work forces were also utilized in part for the construction of the fields, according to County Administrator Phil Jones.

"The soccer complex was built with a combination of roads funds and recreation funds, and because you can use county work crews and work forces it allows you to save a significant amount of money. If we contracted out all of the work, it is likely the project would have cost over $400,000," Jones said.

Soccer fields, the lake and picnic area are just the beginning of what is planned, according to Bacon.

"In the last 12 years, we have really spent a lot of money in recreation in the whole county. We feel that this is just the beginning for the north end of the county. We are currently having a master plan developed for the Hendrix Park area to include a walking path, a lighted trail, maybe a cart path, skateboarding, archery ranges, whatever the imagination may be," Bacon said.

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