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Vidalia Opens New Sports Complex
Wednesday, 13 April 2011

April 13--  The new Vidalia Regional Sports Complex is open for business off the Ezra Taylor Road on the eastern outskirts of the city.


Vidalia Mayor Ronnie Dixon throws out the first pitch at the opening of the new sports complex.  The Mayor said he caught the inside corner.

Vidalia Recreation Department Director Tommy Sasser presided at opening cermonies Tuesday evening.

"About eight years ago the recreation staff and board met and came up with some five and ten year goals.  One of the goals was to develop a new complex because we were outgrowing the Ed Smith Complex and we needed more land.  We took our idea to the city council, they got on board and gave us 104 acres of land and this is Phase One.

The first phase includes two lighted softball fields adjacent to an administrative and concession center.  The fields will be used by adult softball teams and Mayor Ronnie Dixon says it the complex will be in use for years to come.

"I want to thank Tommy, his staff and the board for all the work they've done to make this a reality. I'm sure this beautiful new complex will be an asset to our recreation program for many, many years to come," he said.

Officials say the city has invested over $1.5 million dollars in the project so far and has plans to spend more sales tax collections to complete future phases of the project.

"We'll have two more 320-foot lighted fields for adults.  We're going to build three youth soccer-football fields and develop the pond on the southeastern part of the property for seniors, fishing rodeos, walking trails and things like that," Sasser says.

In the outyears, Phase Three of the project will include more facilities for youth and a swimming pool.  When that happens, Sasser predicts the Ed Smith Complex and the swimming pool on Bay Street will be closed and the property sold.

"We're going to build four youth fields, a swimming pool and six tennis courts.  Then we'll have everybody moved out to the new complex, adults and youth," he reports.

Signs for the new complex will soon be going up on Highway 280 and Sasser hopes the city and county will be able to work together to get the Ezra Taylor Road paved. 


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