Mayor Tommy Allegood and the Board of Alderman agreed Thursday to fund the design contracts for the next phase of development for the park off Old Cherokee Street, which connects Interstate 75 with Old U.S. 41.
To fully develop the entire 120 acres — half of which has already been developed into park space — will cost the city an estimated $1.5 million.
Only $475,000 in SPLOST funding is available to begin the latest project, which includes 10 acres that extend to the southwest of the existing park, according to James Albright, the director of Parks and Recreation.
The Logan Farm Park used to be a horse farm before it was sold to the city.
Alderman Bob Weatherford, who lives near the area on Logan Road, said Logan Farm Park is an “unknown gem,” compared to the busy Kennesaw. Mountain National Battlefield Park 10 miles away
The board authorized spending $120,750 on a contract with the Lawrenceville-based landscape architecture firm Lose and Associates to survey the property. The money will come from federal Community Development Block Grants, which are given annually to Acworth.
Albright said this design process will show the city where to start and “how far our money will take us.”
Phases of development
The master plan for the park includes additional parking, a bridge over Tanyard Creek, a fishing pond, a second playground and an open green space.
Albright said the city hopes to break ground by the fall of 2014, with construction of this latest section completed by early 2015.
There is already a mile-long nature trail from Terrace Drive to Cowan Road, essentially connecting a pocket of housing subdivisions to a major road running through town.
A new trail, one-third of a mile, will route along the exterior of the park and connect to the existing trail, Albright said.
“The goal is to eventually walk around the whole city,” said Weatherford.
The board also approved allocating $107,900 in SPLOST funds to hire the Kennesaw-based TK Consulting Engineers LLC to survey and design a city road project next to the park.
Streets connecting the downtown Acworth area from Main Street to Logan Farm Park will be repaved, including improvements to the residential Taylor Street, from Southside Drive to Old Cherokee Street, and to the access road Southside Drive, from Taylor Street to Cowan Road.
Albright said SPLOST funding will be used for the construction, but first the engineering firm will survey the area to “get a grasp of the existing conditions” and present a plan with projected costs.
The large park project and related road improvements will continue to make Acworth a desirable place to live, which will only further the town’s ranking as the fastest growing city in Cobb County.
Allegood said even though Acworth’s tax base should grow from future economic development, it has been important for officials to keep government spending under control and have a balanced budget.
On Thursday, the board unanimously adopted the 2013 millage rate at 7.6 mills, which is the same rate from last year.
The 7.6 millage rate means a $100,000 home will be taxed $304, according to Sharron Burtz, the city treasurer. The tax on a $200,000 home is $608, and a $300,000 home is $912.
Tax bills will be mailed Sept. 16 and are due Nov. 18.
Burtz said the amount of funds collected by property taxes in Acworth will decrease by 2 percent, or $95,000, from last year.
The revenue collected for 2012, including motor vehicle taxes, was $4.5 million, Burtz said.
Burtz said with Acworth issuing so many new building permits, she hopes the new business will result in more tax money.