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Park may get another exit
Likely limited to emergencies
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Forsyth County News


Forsyth County’s newest park may get an additional exit.

Fowler Park, which opened in February, features just one way in and out, onto Hwy. 9 at Castleberry Road.

The parks and recreation board voted on Tuesday night to recommend creating an additional exit, for use only in emergencies, onto Mars Hill Road.

County commissioners will have the final say in determining whether the county will build an exit and when it would be used.

The county has property at Fowler Road leading up to Mars Hill, but has not yet built there, said Jerry Kinsey, director of parks and recreation.

“That’d be the cheapest, most economic way out,” Kinsey said, “but I don’t know if we want to disturb the neighbors on that property.”

The parks board voted 4-0 to recommend the exit be gated and opened only in cases of emergency.

Board member Todd Holbrook said that he’s sat in heavy traffic trying to leave Fowler after all sporting events were canceled due to weather.

With a fire station along the road leading into the park, Holbrook was also concerned about the safety aspect.

The board recommended that park staff investigate safety exit options at Fowler and other large parks, such as Sharon Springs.

Members floated the possibility of working with the the sheriff’s office to have a deputy direct traffic when there's an emergency.

Also at its Tuesday meeting, the parks and recreation board:

* Gave a group of ham radio enthusiasts permission to hold its local annual 24-hour American Radio Relay League Field Day overnight at Fowler Park on June 25-26. The group usually holds the event at the Cumming Fairgrounds. They would be the first to stay overnight at a county park that does not have a campground.

* Discussed the 2012 county budget request for the department, which plans to ask for $8.2 million, up from $7.3 million in 2011. The addition of two recreation centers is expected to add about $400,000 in operating costs.

* Made a recommendation that the county name the rec facility on the Buice property either Old Atlanta Recreation Center or Old Atlanta Road Recreation Center. Construction has begun on that center and the one at Fowler Park, both of which are slated to open in January.