City looks at possible recreation center properties
by Noreen Cochran
March 04, 2013 12:23 AM | 2692 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fear not, users of Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center’s basketball court, tennis courts, playground, video games and computer lab. The city of Marietta plans to give you more elbow room.

It just can’t say where, exactly.

“There are properties there we are looking to acquire,” Parks and Recreation Director Rich Buss said about land near the center, whose owners’ identities are being kept confidential due to negotiations.

Extra property will allow the center, tucked away on a side street, to expand and have an entrance on North Marietta Parkway.

Buss said the city already owns 2 acres that can double the size of the center’s 2-acre footprint.

The city bought the half-acre next door in 2010 for about $260,000.

“We have the three next to it,” Buss said about another 1.5 acres, combined. “We own 373, 385 and 397 N. Marietta Parkway.”

Buss said the city doesn’t know how much it will spend for other land, which may include the Marietta Redevelopment Corp.’s lot at 409 N. Marietta Parkway.

“The costs, we don’t know. The estimates are based on the tax assessor,” he said.

When will the deals close?

It depends on the design, which hasn’t been finalized due to costing $7 million more than the $3.75 million set aside for the project in the 2009 parks bond.

“We may not need as much property as we originally thought,” Buss said.

One certainty is that there is nearly $900,000 available for real estate deals, on top of the $3.75 million for the building.

The City Council agreed to move $900,000 back into the center’s allocation at its parks and recreation committee meeting last week.

Buss said he had done some financial juggling in response to the $1.2 million purchase of the Turner Chapel A.M.E. Family Life Center earlier this month.

“We want to take that money back and commit it to Elizabeth Porter. It’s not like you have any less money. You’re not taking away from any line item,” he told the city council.

City Councilwoman Annette Lewis objected.

“I don’t see why we need to move funds around,” she said.

Buss referred to a spreadsheet of parks bond allocations.

“You have it to spend on Elizabeth Porter. That’s why the chart looks different, so no one thinks we stole it from any category,” he said.
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Waste of money
March 04, 2013
The city already owns 50 beautiful acres beautiful next to Lockheed elementry school currenty, why should more land be bought?
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