Warner Robins looking to invest more than $80 million in city’s parks

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WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The city of Warner Robins is trying to put up more than $80 million to fix up parks in town. 

While the rain soaks up a chipped, weathered Ferguson Park in Warner Robins. Ideas on how to renovate it and others are pouring in. 

"This is addressing, or at least beginning to address, the issue of the fact that unfortunately Warner Robins hasn’t always put parks and recreations at the top of the list of priorities," Mayor Randy Toms said. 

He said for years improving the city’s parks and recreation facilities moved lower and lower down the priority list.

"We just weren’t able to keep up with it or didn’t have it high enough on the list of priorities because of other issues that come along with growth: water and sewer. Parks and recreations just got left behind," Toms said. 

Now that’s changing. 

An Atlanta-based architecture firm, Lose & Associates, schemed up a strategic plan to build  up new parks and fix or consolidate old ones.

"Since late 60’s, early 70’s it’s been the same thing and so we have to have a new recreation department with more gyms available for our community," said Toms. 

$8 million in SPLOST dollars are budgeted for the parks. Toms is hoping to apply for bonds to address different areas on a priority list for the parks themselves. 

"One of my goals in the administration is to answer the question is there’s nothing to do in Warner Robins. I’m tired of hearing that, so let’s answer that. There is something to do," Toms said. 

Perhaps one of the first things park-goers can do is head to the Walker’s Pond Park near North Houston Road. 

"There’s going to be a pavillion around it. Possibly a splash pad to go there in the future," Toms said. 

Plans are to have it finished in less than a year. Tom says he’s ready to make a splash himself and bring the fun back to the city. 

"We’re ready to move and right now we have a mayor and council that wants to get things done," he said. 

There are 16 parks in Warner Robins. Toms says it’s possible the city’s parks and rec department will close out smaller or run down parks and move resources around to make other parks even better. 

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.