The Parks & Recreation Committee discussed installing a rubber mulch surface at Trey Park, similar to the one pictured here.

Members of Trousdale County’s Parks & Recreation Committee were inclined toward putting rubber mulch inside the Trey Park playground as a new surface.

During the group’s Sept. 23 meeting, commissioners weighed various options for improvements to the play surface, which is currently grass.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers noted that as part of a grant for adding ADA-compliant play equipment, the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation requested that Trousdale County look at improving a play surface deemed a safety hazard. At the August County Commission meeting the body voted against using wood chips to replace the play surface, noting past problems with flooding and quick deterioration.

The mayor noted that TDEC would have to approve whatever surface the county opts to go with, but that approval could come quickly.

Chambers and Commissioner Landon Gulley each presented various quotes received from three different companies, ranging from roughly $80,000 to almost $100,000.

Gulley pointed out that the rubber mulch is similar to the surface currently in place on the playground at the elementary school. The rubber surface is made from recycled tire with the wires removed.

“They’re not seeing issues out there,” Gulley said of the elementary school play area.

Commissioners seemed most favorable toward a quote from Recreational Concepts, a company out of Cookeville. Its $83,540 quote for black rubber mulch includes bordering and installation, but commissioners asked if the company could provide a quote on colored material, saying it would look better even if it was slightly more expensive.

One of the other companies did provide separate quotes on black mulch and rubber mulch, with a difference of roughly $21,000.

Commissioner Dwight Jewell noted that the installation costs might be reduced if community civic groups and volunteers assisted. Chambers said he believed the company would work with such volunteers if needed.

“This is the type of project people will rise to coming out and helping with the installation if it’s just labor,” Jewell said.

“They say they work with communities all over the place,” Chambers added. “Most of these companies are community oriented.”

Commissioners also discussed the replacement of light poles at the Little League ballfields. The county has budgeted $20,000 in the current fiscal year toward replacement of the poles.

Gulley said recommendations were replacing four of the current poles, adding two more wooden poles and replacing the current lights with LED lighting, which would reduce energy costs. Gulley also said moving a power source from its current location would be advisable as it can be covered with water if the park floods.

The committee scheduled its next meeting for Monday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. to discuss both matters further.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

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