Viola residents have a park they can be proud of.
"It looks very good and is a tribute to the people who've worked hard to make it so," said Viola Mayor and high school principal Jackie Estes.
The city built a pavilion, walking trail and playground module and added dugouts for the baseball and softball fields and bleachers at the park, he said.
Estes said the walking trail was paved, fences were built and a tractor was bought to help maintain the park.
The new pavilion has barbecue grills and electricity. Estes said the pavilion is open to the public anytime free of charge. Anyone interested in reserving the pavilion can contact Estes at Viola High School.
A matching grant to fund the park restoration was obtained by the city of Viola through the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Estes said. The city contributed approximately $35,000 in cash and $6,000 in volunteer labor and the school raised $5,000 for the project, he said. The parks and tourism matched those funds and a total of $88,000 was raised.
Estes said much of the work was done by inmates from the Arkansas Correctional Facility in Calico Rock. "They worked on it for 10 days and they did a good job," Estes said.
He said the project wouldn't have been possible without the city sales tax. He said he understands that people don't like paying more in taxes, but in this case it's worth it. "Just looking at that park will tell some people around here they're getting something for their bucks," he said.