A large rezoning, the new county campus and a fire alerting system were items discussed at the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners work session on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Each item was approved with a 5-0 vote unless otherwise noted.
Rezoning in north Forsyth
Commissioners approved a rezoning to restricted industrial district (M1) for a “70, almost 75-acre assemblage” for 750,000 square feet of “light industrial” at the Hampton Park Drive intersection just north of Bottoms Road.
The land is made up of four different parcels zoned agricultural district (A1), commercial business district (CBD) and highway business (HB).
County Manager Kevin Tanner said that the Atlanta Regional Commission requested that a rezoning for the parcels of land before a Development of Regional Impact review is done.
“[The ARC] has to have enough information to be able to process [the DRI],” Tanner said. “And the developer has to have enough answers to be able to give them.”
District 4’s Cindy Jones Mills said this project will “hopefully” tie-in to some other development up the road.
“[This] will hopefully be like stuff you see on McFarland [Parkway], … like Bluegrass or Shiloh,” Mills said.
She said that county staff will be coming up with conditions for the project for a “constant theme” of architecture design and signage so that the area will have a “community feel” to it.
Commissioners approved the item with the understanding that public participation meetings and public hearings will be held once more of the project has been drafted.
New county campus
Commissioners heard a presentation about the site plan for the new county campus, a project that will include a new administration building, an employee center and a Whole Health Center for county employees.
The project is proposed on Freedom Parkway and could be visible from Ga. 400.
“We’re not asking for any action on this today,” Tanner said. “This is just showing you the proposed layout of all the buildings on site.”
Tanner said that the “topography [of the site] works well for the facility” and that funding for the project looks “favorable.”
He said the funding would come from the American Rescue Plan Act, specifically the funding for the Whole Health Center which would service county employees and their health needs.
Mills stressed that it was “important for the public to know” that the site will not require money to be borrowed; the project will be paid for using savings and the ARPA funds from “Covid-19 dollars.”
“[It’s a] very exciting project, and it’s moving full-steam ahead,” Tanner said. “We anticipate we’ll go out to bid for construction in July … on all three buildings if things work out.”
Tanner said that after meeting with commissioners one-on-one about adjustments to the administration building layout, the item will return to future meetings for necessary approvals.
Updated fire alerting system
Commissioners approved to award a bid for a fire station alerting solution for the Forsyth County Fire Department in the amount of $1,033,609.
“This system replaces what we currently have in place, which is 30-year-old technology,” Fire Chief Barry Head said, and said the money comes from SPLOST VIII.
Head explained that the new system will use a text-to-speech system to help relieve dispatch of manual work, “taking a couple steps out of it.”
Head said the new alerting system lowers a response time about an average of 46 seconds, which he said was “crucial.”
“We had an incident over the weekend where our system did fail, and we failed to get an alert in the middle of the night,” Head said. “We had a delayed response to a pretty bad call, so this should rectify all that.”