Nearly seven years after it was approved by voters, Cobb is taking its first steps to begin work on a planned recreation center in the south-central part of the county.

There are few details available, however, about the Osborne Area Recreation and Community Center, as the project is currently titled. The project was originally planned to cost $10 million as part of the 2016 SPLOST package.

Another $2 million has been added from the 2016 SPLOST’s revenue above projections – extra cash the tax brought in beyond its original $750 million target. Then-Commissioner Lisa Cupid secured another $2 million in funding from the 2022 SPLOST package, bringing the total estimated budget to $14 million.

Commissioner Monique Sheffield said at a Board of Commissioners’ work session Monday the county currently has three parcels under contract for the site. County spokesman Ross Cavitt, however, said Cobb would not divulge those locations, as they “cannot discuss matters involving real estate while negotiations are in process.”

The board will vote Tuesday on the advertisement of a public hearing prior to awarding a contract to a design and construction firm for the site. Any planned features of the facility, Cavitt added, won’t be available until the property has been purchased and the project moves into the planning stages.

When built, the facility will add to the county’s roster of five existing recreation centers.

In other business, commissioners are expected to vote on a contract with Evergreen Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm which will receive $128,000 to study the county’s employee compensation.

As the agenda item – prepared by Human Resources Director Tony Hagler – notes, the county last commissioned such a study in 2014 with the Archer Company. Some of the findings of that study were implemented in 2017.

“As part of industry standards and given the concerns with retention and recruitment at the County, it is time for another classification and compensation study,” Hagler writes in the agenda item.

Evergreen was recently contracted by the city of Powder Springs to conduct a similar study, which found the city’s workers were making about 10% less than the market average.

County execs are hoping the study will take steps toward finding the root of longstanding turnover issues across its departments. Hagler said Monday the goal is to have the findings back in by spring of 2022, ahead of the board’s 2023 budget negotiations.

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