CityFest, rains cause more than $100,000 in damage

Heavy rains and vehicles caused extensive damage to a 3-acre field at Alabaster's Municipal Park during the June 7 CityFest. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Heavy rains and vehicles caused extensive damage to a 3-acre field at Alabaster’s Municipal Park during the June 7 CityFest. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster will spend up to $112,000 to repair a 3-acre field at Municipal Park damaged during the recent CityFest celebration.

During a June 23 meeting, the Alabaster City Council voted unanimously to pay the Specialty Turf and Supply company up to $112,000 to repair damage to the grass field. The council declared the repairs an emergency, and Alabaster City Manager George Henry said work will begin “immediately.”

During CityFest on June 7, the event’s main stage, hospitality tent, main seating area and kids zone were set up on the field. Because heavy rains hit the area while crews were setting up on June 6 and tearing down after the festival the next day, vehicles caused ruts and other damage to the field.

“Sometimes when you have a party with 60,000 of your closest friends, some damage can be done,” Alabaster Councilman Bob Hicks said during the meeting, noting there was “significant damage to over 80 percent of the field.”

The council voted to accept Specialty Turf and Supply’s low bid of $94,749.65 to repair the field, and also approved a $15,000 option to fund fertilization of the field and the installation of a French drain system.

During a pre-meeting work session, Council President Scott Brakefield said he would like the city to take preventative measures to prevent similar damage during future events at the park.

“I’d like to see us have some sort of safety net so we don’t have to pay $100,000 that we didn’t have budgeted,” Brakefield said.

Henry said the repair work will be finished by early August to allow city and school sports teams to use the field.