OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - The parks in Olive Branch, Mississippi need a little TLC. On the wish list: new playgrounds, more walking trails and general improvements to make them nicer. There's much to do, and the city needs money to do it, money that doesn't exist.
"It's safe. People come. Everyday it's crowed," says Gladys Chandler. She and her husband Jerry come from Oxford to take their grandchildren to the city park.
"They like to play on the playground. Their mother comes in the afternoon and goes jogging around the lake," Gladys says.
The Chandlers love visiting, but can see where improvements are needed. "There are bad spots in the walking trail that need to be fixed."
Mayor Sam Rikard agrees. He says there's a whole list of things the city would like to do, including repaving walking trails and buying new playground equipment.
There's also an erosion problem around the lake that's only getting worse. "If we don't address it, then where it's close to the walking trail will eventually fall in. Certainly don't want that to happen."
There's work to be done on the other side of town too in the Ivy Trails community. "That's about 20 acres there. It was set aside by developer to be a park," Rikard says. "We need to do something."
But it all costs money. Everything adds up to around a million dollars. Before the city starts doing anything, the board of aldermen will have to decide how to pay for it.
"What do you want to do and how much do you want to pay?" Rikard says. "You would be incurring a million plus dollars of debt paid back over 15 years."
There's no timetable for the work. The board is looking at many different options for finding the money. The budget for 2013 is already set, so whatever is decided would likely be included in 2014.