CUMMING — Another step toward renovating Cumming City Park was taken Tuesday.
Greg Little, director of the Cumming Recreation and Parks Department, told city council that the stream buffer variance it approved will allow crews to erect a new boardwalk nature observation area around the stream.
“Basically, the city granted itself a variance of its own rules to get in there and do the work that we need to do inside the [city’s] 75-foot buffer,” he said. “But we will in no way get inside that 25-foot [state] buffer.”
Crews are in the process of demolishing and removing old structures at the park in preparation for the $4 million renovation.
In December, council unanimously approved the basic conceptual design for the park, which has been closed since late January.
Among the upgrades, which are anticipated to be complete by summer or fall 2015, are a kids’ splash pad area, outdoor amphitheater and new playground and “tot lot” areas.
Other features include new parking and a multi-purpose building to house offices currently in an old church across the street. The building also will have rooms for dance and exercise classes.
Funding for the project comes from an agreement with Forsyth County. In exchange for $5.3 million, which the city was entitled to from 1-cent sales tax revenue, the county provided it with the $4 million for the park project. The sales tax revenue is being used to build two parking decks for the new county courthouse and detention center.