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Board looks at green space firms
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Forsyth County News
Forsyth County commissioners continue to interview the four consulting firms that want to help the county shop for $36 million in green space.
Representatives from the firms attended Tuesday's work session to answer questions about their willingness to work with the county's geographic information services department in the mapping of viable green space parcels.
John Kilgore, director of the department, also gave a presentation demonstrating the staff's capabilities in analyzing criteria and making color-coded maps.
"Our GIS department feels that given a set of criteria they can run a thorough analysis of all the parcels in the county and ... look at a scoring factor depending upon the weight of each criteria," Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said.
Kilgore used six examples of criteria to weigh the parcels: park equity; existing support/infrastructure; historic sites; hydrology; public facilities; and undeveloped land.
All four consulting firms viewed Kilgore's presentation and answered questions from Commissioners Brian Tam and Jim Harrell on various topics, including their willingness to work with the local GIS department.
Representatives from the firms all said they were.  
Commissioners also asked the representatives about their experience in acquiring grants to purchase property and their work on similar projects.
All said they were capable of getting grants for properties and had worked on comparable and larger green space projects for other Georgia counties.
Lose and Associates, the Trust for Public Land, Pond and Co. and MACTEC each gave presentations to commissioners at an April work session on ways to handle the county's green space portion of the $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond voters approved in February.
At a May 13 work session, the GIS department addressed the commission, estimating that about 25 to 30 percent of the process would be within the department's expertise: gathering and analyzing data, then mapping it.
Commissioners have not selected a firm, though Tam unsuccessfully motioned to locking in the firms as candidates on May 13.
The commission did not make a selection Tuesday either. Further discussion of the matter was postponed.