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Beautification efforts to target roadsides, exits in Forsyth
The Forsyth County commission recently heard a proposal from business officials on a proposed partnership to beautify the Ga. 400 ramps at Exit 13. In a separate matter, commissioners approved funding to be used to beautify roads in the county, including Peachtree Parkway (Hwy. 141), which is off Exit 13. - photo by Micah Green

FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County is moving forward with plans to spruce up some of its most well-traveled corridors.

During a recent meeting, the Forsyth commission voted 5-0 to approve spending up to $50,000 per each of the county’s five districts to improve the look of medians and public right of way. The money will come from the solid waste fund for beautification projects.

The commission also heard a presentation on proposed improvements for exit and on ramps to Ga. 400.

As part of the allocation motion, the first $50,000 will go toward improvements along Peachtree Parkway in District 2.

The decision is the product of talks lead by Commissioner Brian Tam, who represents the district, to match funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation for projects along Peachtree Parkway, or Hwy. 141.

In response to a question from County Attorney Ken Jarrard, Tam said it was fine to remove previous language that would have only made the funds available for state routes.

“We do have roads like Castleberry [and] Bethelview [roads] that are not DOT, so I think we’d like to take that out of there, so that there’s a little more flexibility if necessary,” he said before the final vote.

The plan will involve the Peachtree Parkway Improvement District, a group of residents and merchants who want to make visual improvements to the 7-mile stretch of corridor. The funding will go toward projects along the parkway and its median.

As part of the motion, the county will also modify the agreement with the group, which will be approved at an upcoming work session.

In the past, the DOT has transferred its allotted funds for the road, about $17,500, to the group for mowing and maintenance, though it appears the DOT will hire a third party to do that work.

Tam said previously the local group had raised $51,000 from area homeowners and $62,000 from businesses.

Under the new rules, a district’s funding from the county would roll over to the next year if not used.

During the meeting, the commission also heard from Thomas Tropea, managing director of Core Property Capital that owns The Collection at Forsyth, and Michael McDonald, a landscape architect with Wakefield Beasley, on a proposed partnership to beautify the ramp at Exit 13.

“What we see this as is a great branding exercise for Forsyth County and to extend the brand of the community,” Tropea said.

Recently, the county has discussed public-private partnerships with area businesses to improve the look of overpasses and off- and on-ramps to Ga.400.

Two new interchanges on Ga. 400 — McGinnis Ferry Road and Hwy. 369 — are currently under design and included in scope of the project.

During the presentation, the addition of monuments with the county logo, flowers, overpass paintings and art were discussed as features that would be added, and artistic renderings of the improvements were shown to the commission.

For the overpass improvements, screens similar to those used at baseball fields and metal nets are being considered for painting. The county would not be responsible for the maintenance of those improvements.

No action was taken during the meeting.