By Adrianna Hinds/City of Athens Community Services Coordinator
The lighting at Cain Park, Phases 1 and 2, has recently received some much-needed improvements thanks to Athens Police Officer Dustin Cook. Cain Park is the home field for the Henderson County Girls Softball Association (HCGSA), Trinity Valley Community College softball team, adult softball leagues, and other sports groups for many years. It is a well-loved park and also includes walking trails and picnic areas, which citizens enjoy on a daily basis.
As a local and invested citizen, Dustin Cook knows the importance of seeing our City parks improved and maintained for the current and future generation’s enjoyment. For that reason, Dustin took it upon himself to partner with the City of Athens to see the lighting at Cain Park renovated.
Due to the age of the lighting equipment surrounding the parking lot and walking trails, many of the lights were not functioning properly, which left those areas very dimly lit at night. To address this issue, the City of Athens appropriated $40,000 from the 2017 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Cain Park improvements, including lighting enhancements at the park.
Through this project, all parking lot lights and trail lights are being repaired and the existing light fixtures replaced with modern, energy-efficient LEDs. Additionally, the ballfield lights at the park are being repaired at all five lighted softball fields, including replacement of bulbs and ballasts. As an electrician, Dustin has volunteered his time and talents to the project and taken on all of the labor and installation of the new lighting systems.
“Dustin is not only upgrading all parking lot and trail lights to LEDs, but he is repairing the lights and replacing the bulbs on the ball fields at Phase 1 and Phase 2. The City purchased the lighting supplies and Dustin has graciously donated his labor to this project. Dustin is saving the City thousands of dollars in labor costs and we are extremely appreciative,” said Assistant City Manager Thanasis Kombos.
Kombos added, “If you are a user of the trail, all trail lights are now working, the parking lot is now lit, providing better security and visibility at night for park patrons and our softball leagues.”
The City extends its deepest thanks and gratitude to Dustin for his work and dedication to these lighting improvements.
When asking Dustin what motivates him to donate his time and efforts in this manner, his response has repeatedly been, “I do it for the kids.”
Work is wrapping up on the lighting improvements in the next few days, so citizens can expect to enjoy these enhancements very soon.
For any questions or more information regarding this project please contact City Hall at 903-675-5131.