Lending library box plans, a new statue at Lanierland Park, Sexton Hall improvements and alcohol sales permits were all among topics of discussion at this week's work session of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
Lending library box at dog park
The BOC considered and approved the construction of a lending library box this week to be erected at the dog park located on County Way. This box will serve as a receptacle from which books and other media can be loaned out.
The library box will be to commemorate a family who lost their daughter earlier in the year. Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills has been hosting birthday fundraisers and decided to use additional funds from this year’s fundraiser towards the box, stating that it felt like an appropriate and wonderful use of the donations. The father of the honored girl will be building the box to be placed at the dog park.
Moving forward, there was a motion to approve the county manager future discretion for where boxes can be placed in the county; approval and construction of future Lending Library Boxes will not need to be present before the board.
There was a motion to approve the construction of the box with no cost to the County, and the vote was 4-0 with Commissioner Todd Levent away from the meeting at the time.
New statue plans for Lanierland Park
Commissioners considered and approved to accept a sponsorship from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and use the funds to install a set of statues for the Miracle League Field at Lanierland Park. The sponsorship is for $35,000 and will be used to purchase a set of five small bronze statues as a set.
The statues are made by a New York-based company called Randolph Rose and the piece is called Celebrate Diversity. The set of statues will include five small bronze children, one in a wheelchair. Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills was excited about the project and said she knew it would fit nicely at the Miracle League Field at Lanierland Park.
“We’re really excited about this,” Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said. “We really wanted something to tie together the Miracle League showing how all children play together.”
After hearing about Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s idea about the statue, Randolph Rose agreed to reduce the price for the statues and pay for shipping. The county will oversee installation and will make sure that each statue is secure properly.
The BOC moved to authorize and accept the sponsorship from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.
Sexton Hall improvements
The BOC considered and approved the Sexton Hall Site Master Plan with an estimated budget of around $1.6 million. The board also authorized Lose Design to assemble the construction documents for this plan, estimated at $90,000.
The improvements to Sexton Hall will include an expansion of parking, a new storage facility, pavilion, paved walking trails, an adult exercise area with equipment, a display garden and a new monument campus sign.
The master plan for Sexton Hall was completed by the same architect that worked on the Sharon Springs Park Renovation (Lose Design) to help with the continuity of the aesthetic of the area. Sexton Hall and Sharon Springs Park are very close in location and will be connected through paved walking trails between the two centers.
Commissioner Dennis Brown expressed some concern for the walking trails that would link to Sharon Springs Park, stating that he did not want there to be any possibility for a senior to be taken advantage of. The Department of Senior Services assured Commissioner Dennis Brown that the location of Sexton Hall was very safe because of its proximity to a local park.
The BOC voted to approve both the plan and the budget. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.
Alcohol sales permit discussion
Commissioners discussed alcohol sales permit restrictions as well. The board entertained issues related to rules and regulations surrounding the permit, procedures for obtainment and renewals.
Currently, in Forsyth County, someone cannot obtain an alcohol sales permit if they have been convicted of a felony. In surrounding counties, someone cannot obtain an alcohol sales permit if they have been convicted of a felony within a certain time frame—anywhere from three to five years.
Commissioner Molly Cooper expressed that she was not aware that Forsyth County was the only county in its surrounding counterparts that was completely restricted. The BOC spoke about the possibility of adopting a policy similar to its neighboring counties in regard to restrictions, perhaps instating the rule that a person cannot have been convicted of a felony anywhere from three to five years starting from the date of conviction.
Forsyth County also requires people with a permit to renew theirs every year, and there was a discussion about the possibility of changing that requirement to every two years. Instead of paying one sum every year for a renewal, the price would be doubled and paid every two years.
The BOC also wanted to discuss some of the language surrounding the rules and regulations about alcohol sales permits. Commissioners stated that they wanted to further clarify where the line was drawn regarding misdemeanors; it would include petty theft and vandalism, but not traffic violations.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tom Patton expressed his desire to work closely with the BOC to help revise regulations in a way that helps streamline the process for renewals and obtainment but keeps the process safe and regulated.
The board moved to continue discussions on this topic in further work sessions and meetings. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.