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TAKING ACTION: Palmer Park upgrades in the works

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MADISON, Ala. -- Palmer Park is one of Madison's most used facilities. But, many park users now consider it to be very dated, and are voicing those concerns.

"We are at this park every night and every weekend. Both of my boys play baseball here, and they have since they were five and six years old," said Kelli Karnes.

Karnes said there are a number of improvements she would like to see, but safety for the children is at the top of the list.

"All of the fencing is falling apart, all of the buildings are rotted.  The grass is in terrible shape where it's hard to even play ball. We also need our dug outs improved," she explained.

She would also like to see water misters and water fountains in the dug outs to keep kids cool during summer games.

City of Madison Parks and Recreation Director Kory Alfred said they hear those concerns, and they've come up with a 20-year master plan to improve the park. It includes upgrades, and brand new facilities.

"We're looking at maybe a four-plex for baseball, figuring out a better way to flow traffic, in and out of the park. [We are] upgrading our current facilities, some of the ball park lights out here are probably as old as I am," said Alfred.

Alfred said safety is also their number one priority. The master plan is set to take shape in five-year increments that will be prioritized.

"A quality complex that Madison can be proud of and don't have to travel to a Florence, to Decatur, or any other city to play in," that is what they are hoping for, he explained.

Alfred added that they would love to hear any and all public input.

The Parks and Recreation Department created the master plan with help from the Recreation Advisory Board and a consulting team. They plan to present the master plan to the city council at the next work session in the coming weeks.