Three options presented for Franklin Road park
by Noreen Cochran
November 28, 2012 12:59 AM | 2701 views | 4 4 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta Councilman Johnny Sinclair <br>(File-MDJ)
Marietta Councilman Johnny Sinclair
MARIETTA — The City Council is considering three options for developing parkland on Franklin Road.

At a Monday night parks committee meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Rich Buss presented three plans for the park located near Delk Road, with costs ranging between $1.2 million and $2.2 million. The city bought the 13-acre property in February 2010 for $2.7 million, paid for out of the 2009 parks bond. The city later demolished the Preston Chase apartment complex, which sat on the land, at a cost of $410,643.

“Concept option 1 is closer to $1.2 million. What that would allow us to do is build out some park amenities,” Buss said. “We could have a walking track, a soccer field, a playground, a restroom building, picnic shelter. That uses up about 7.1 acres of the site.”

For $1.6 million, the city can install two larger soccer fields and more parking spaces.

“The other option would be a further buildout at $2.2 million,” Buss said. “We have an activity area that could be whatever elements we decide to put there. It could be a hockey rink, skateboarding, basketball courts or volleyball. There are a lot of amenities that could fill that space.”

Councilman Philip Goldstein said the city could raise money to pay for developing the park by selling a portion of the land because none of three options requires the full 13 acres.

“Obviously there is not sufficient money to do a full park,” he said. “I would hope the parks and recreation committee would consider putting 3.5 acres up for sale so the money can be used for the park. … That would provide funding. I don’t think anyone has a problem with 3.5 acres.”

However, Mayor Steve Tumlin did.

“You made one wrong assumption: Everyone is not for this. We passed a $25 million bond issue, voted 51 percent to 49. That means 49 percent didn’t support it,” Tumlin said. “Then we’re going to go back and sell park land? I think you’d have trouble ever passing a park bond again.”

Tumlin said he wanted to keep the 13 acres together as one parcel because of uncertainty of what a future property buyer may use the land for.

“We’re not in the real estate business,” he said. “We got $25 million for parks. That was an uphill battle. We bought this for a park, we ought to keep it.”

Goldstein said he was unaware there was not a consensus for the idea and apologized.

Councilman Johnny Sinclair, who chairs the committee, set a special called meeting to discuss this and other park projects for Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Council chambers.

On the agenda will be plans for a 12,000-square-foot indoor recreation center.

Buss distributed figures for proposals for both Porter and Custer Park. Cost estimates are $10.5 million for a new building at Porter, $7.8 million for renovating an existing building at Custer and $9.8 million for a new building at Custer.
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November 28, 2012
I am appalled that, with all the drug problems, home invasions, gang and drug related murders that occur on Franklin Road, they are really considering spending this amount of money on a park???? For what, for more gangs to hang out in and a nice new "outdoorsey" area for drug sales? Do the people behind this decision honestly think that by sticking a nice and wholesome "park" in the middle of this hellish area, that all these problems will disappear? What are they thinking?
November 28, 2012
I see your concern if this had been a few years ago I would agree but with the marietta police camped out there on the regular in that area the past year has been a change ...and this is a cake walk I'm from a more dangerous place and if this is considered a hellish area well call me the devil. But one thing also if they stop them guys from hanging out at that Gants store and that little gas station before you get to the Q.T that will solve a lot of problems.We got to remember kids is the issue if they have a place to go with proper supervision we will not have a repeat of what once was.
Nothing East of I-75
November 28, 2012
When do we get a large park with Soccer fields east of I-75? The city already owns many acres of undeveloped land behind Lockheed Elementry school but has yet to put a dime into it to create a park. Thousands of people live in MArietta east of I-75 but we are treated as second rate citizens when it comes to anything but tiny parks without any ballfields at all. How much of that 25 million goes east of I-75, Answer ZERO.
Ward 1
November 29, 2012
One council member in east Marietta could care less about serving the people; he is there to protect his Marietta square real estate interests.

That certainly would include bargaining away initiatives that benefit east Marietta to get what he wants near the square.

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