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County keeps Miracle Field going

The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved a lot of improvements to Miracle Field Tuesday night, voting unanimously to accept a bid for $117,970 for pavers around the new field’s facilities.

The bid’s acceptance was a bit unusual, although perfectly legal. Ordinarily, three bids are accepted for a project, and the standard procedure is to accept the lowest bid. But only two bids were received for the paver project, County Manager Tom Garrett said, and the lowest bid was not complete. Specifically, it failed to include a “bid bond,” which was required in the bid process.

The other bid, slightly higher, was from Peachstate Construction. Garrett told commissioners they could accept Peachstate’s bid or reject it and re-bid the project — either was legal.

Commissioner J.C. Henderson, who represents the district containing the park, asked Garrett for his recommendation. Garrett said he’d go with Peachstate’s bid.

Good enough. Henderson made a motion to accept the bid, and Commissioner Levie Maddox seconded it. It passed unanimously.

“Kids should be playing on this field now,” Henderson said. “This is something good for Newton County. It’s good for our kids.”

Miracle Field was built by Newton County, the Newton County Recreation Commission, the Covington Rotary Club, the Covington Kiwanis Club, The Covington & Oxford Lions’ Clubs and The Friends of Newton Parks.

The complex, mostly finished, will include a custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts, and a flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players. Handicap-accessible restrooms, a concession stand and picnic pavilion will also be incorporated within this design.

The complex’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for all children to play baseball regardless of their physical ability.