Smyrna works on 10-year parks plan
by Nikki Wiley
July 31, 2013 12:11 AM | 3094 views | 2 2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Levi Elder, 1, takes an afternoon dip in the swimming pool Tuesday at Tolleson Park. The city is creating a 10-year plan for the future of Smyrna parks, and Mayor Max Bacon wants to explore adding another pool.
Levi Elder, 1, takes an afternoon dip in the swimming pool Tuesday at Tolleson Park. The city is creating a 10-year plan for the future of Smyrna parks, and Mayor Max Bacon wants to explore adding another pool.
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Fidel Reyes, 5, practices soccer Tuesday at Tolleson Park in Smyrna. The city is creating a 10-year plan for the future of Smyrna parks, and Mayor Max Bacon wants to explore adding another pool.
Fidel Reyes, 5, practices soccer Tuesday at Tolleson Park in Smyrna. The city is creating a 10-year plan for the future of Smyrna parks, and Mayor Max Bacon wants to explore adding another pool.
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SMYRNA — City officials want to determine the future of Smyrna’s park system with a 10-year plan.

The master plan is being developed by Atlanta-based GreenRock Partners for $29,000, and Steve Ciaccio, director of the Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to have it completed by the end of August. GreenRock will present its findings from public surveys and meetings and take comments during a meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle.

“The previous (master plan) entailed a lot of things that ultimately came to fruition,” Ciaccio said.

He points to the creation of parks, including North Cooper Lake Park and River Line Park, among others, as success stories of the last plan.

They wouldn’t have happened without a $22 million park bond approved by voters in 2005, and that money has dried up.

Still, all the city’s park needs haven’t been met.

Ciaccio said he isn’t sure how any new parks or improvements will be funded because the plan hasn’t been completed and no specific projects have been approved. The money could come from city funds, grants or a host of other sources depending on the projects.

Some residents have asked for the city to develop passive parks — areas for leisure activities with no sports fields — and a year-round aquatic center, and Ciaccio expects those requests to surface again. The city has one swimming pool and Mayor Max Bacon says the demand is so great it could use another.

“I think some of the needs expressed in the master plan will be the same that were expressed in the last master plan,” he said.

Bacon says he’s waiting to review GreenRock’s findings based on discussions with Smyrna residents before making any decisions, but he already has a few things in mind.

“We could probably use another swimming facility,” Bacon said.

It’s an idea that Paula Bowman of Smyrna can be on board with. Lying on a lawn chair at city-operated Tolleson Pool on Kings Spring Road near South Cobb Drive on Tuesday, Bowman watched her grandson, Levi, 1, swim with the help of a life jacket.

“I think it would be a good idea,” she said. “I’d probably come more often if it wasn’t so crowded.”

The city’s only public pool is popular, Bacon said, and attracts crowds.

He’s also looking at maintenance of athletic fields and wants to explore the cost of using artificial turf compared to the sod the city uses now.

“They’ll play a season and then after the season is over, of course, there’s no grass. … We have to re-sod it and cut off the field from use at all,” Bacon said.

That leaves Jesus Reyes of Smyrna, 15, without a place to practice soccer.

“Sometimes they close this park so we don’t have anywhere to play,” he said Tuesday while practicing his game at Tolleson Park.

Comments
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SC Observer
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July 31, 2013
Smyrna is complaining they don't have money for parks and want the county to chip in and yet they are considering artificial turf for the athletic fields?

Artificial turf for a football field sized area, which would be smaller than a full sized soccer field cost approximately $600,000 and lasts around 10 years. What kind of cost savings are there to be had over sod?

If Smyrna wanted to reduce some of its cost of field maintenance they would drill wells to provide the water for the fields and stop paying the county for the water. They could recoup the cost of the wells in a couple of months.

Also, if Smyrna wanted to reduce the maintenance costs for their athletic fields they could put out the bid for maintenance separately from their other contracts with Pebblestone.

10 year plan?
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July 31, 2013
Smyrna has a plan for parks to last for ten years before degrading into "nongay married men doing extremely gay things" infested cesspools?

Shoot yeah! A 10 year park lifetime is about 8 years longer than usual, so maybe it sounds like a good idea.

Maybe it's a good idea even if it's Major Bacon's idea and even if we don't like Bacon. Could it be?

Let's flip things on their head and hate the sinner but evaluate the "sins" on their own merits. Wooooo for thought processes!
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