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Projects plentiful for possible parks bond
Commission looks over wish list
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Forsyth County News

Other action

Also during their work session, the Forsyth County commission:

* Approved a resolution for the county to join the Georgia Water Supply Providers Group.

* Decided to keep Matt Community Park zoned Res 3 instead of A1, but removing conditions and variances under the Res 3 designation and holding a public hearing to explain why it’s necessary.

* Signed four memorandums of understanding with the state Department of Transportation. Three are to relocate water lines at Hwy. 369 and Two Mile and Six Mile creeks and the Chattahoochee River/Lake Lanier.

* Authorized the purchase of a Ballot On Demand System processing and service agreement for the county’s Voter Registration Department, allowing ballots to be printed locally.

* Granted two change orders and an application regarding the Castleberry Road widening project, as well as approval to submit an application for state assistance of up to $1 million.

The change orders are with Gresham Smith and Partners for additional services totaling nearly $137,000. A third change order was approved with the same company for additional services on the Union Hill Road/Mullinax Road widening project from McFarland to Hwy. 9.

* Appointed Joe Brown as the District 2 representative on the Parks & Recreation Board.

* Discussed briefly the implications of e-cigarettes. Officials will receive more information from staff.


-- Jennifer Sami

CUMMING — Forsyth County commissioners have reviewed a sampling of projects that could be funded through a potential parks and recreation bond program.

Among them are: $11 million to improve several existing parks; $8 million each for Lanierland Park and the second phase of Matt Community Park, both in north Forsyth; and about $3 million for land, design and construction of a community/gymnastics building at Haw Creek Park.

During the commission’s work session Tuesday, Chairman Pete Amos said there would be several more discussions about the list, as well as the possible referendum, which would be the second in six years.

In 2008, voters overwhelmingly backed a $100 million bond plan that the county has used for parks, recreation and green space.

The list also includes $6 million for a conceptual master plan on six parks along Lake Lanier in northeast Forsyth: Athens, Chestatee Bay, Rocky Point, Six Mile, Wildcat Creek and the fourth peninsula at Bethel.

Amos said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “assigned us these parks they can’t afford and now we’ve got to do something with them.”

“If they approve our plan, we can do stuff with them and have a bond and green space without having to pay for the land,” Amos said after the meeting.

While the list has been identified, Amos noted these projects could be a long ways off.

“We have a [possible] transportation bond that’s much more needed,” he said. “This was just to generate information to talk about. It gets the information out to the public.

“We’ll probably talk about it two or three more times. It’s nothing we’re in a hurry with right now.”

During the work session, Commissioner Todd Levent appeared to be against the bond referendum, or certainly the way it would be handled.

He noted those with a $400,000 home would be paying twice the price as the owners of a $200,000 home, but would be using the parks in the same way.

“We need to think about all of this because is it fair to charge somebody a tax on something they [don’t use],” he said. “It’s taxation without representation, so be careful.”

But Commissioner Brian Tam noted this wouldn’t be a case of the commission approving a tax hike.

“These things we’re talking about are going to be voted on by the voters,” he said.

After the meeting, Amos said there’s also no hurry for a “B-list” project of $16.5 million to acquire land for, design and build an aquatic center in south Forsyth.

He said Cumming’s aquatic center is fine for now, but a second facility could someday be used to accommodate swift growth on the county’s south end.

“It is in the long-range process right now,” Amos said. “[The city has] a great aquatic center right now. They’re doing a great job.”