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Hall County approves contracts for Cherokee Bluffs park

POSTED: July 10, 2014 8:01 p.m.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved two contracts Thursday for infrastructure work, design and construction of Cherokee Bluffs park.

Located along Blackjack Road in Flowery Branch near Sterling on the Lake, the 100-acre park is planned to include a 2,500-square-foot community building, pavilion, concession stand and outdoor amphitheater.

The first contract, awarded to Simpson Trucking & Grading Inc. of Gainesville, will include parking lot construction, as well as pump station, drainage and other infrastructure projects.

Simpson’s bid is about $1.98 million, but the county has budgeted only $1.5 million for this work.

County staff said it would negotiate with Simpson to reduce these costs.

The second contract, awarded to Carroll Daniel Construction Co. of Gainesville, will include construction of pavilions, an amphitheater and concession stands.

Carroll Daniel’s bid is about $1.46 million, but the county has budgeted only $1.3 million for this work.

County staff said Carroll Daniel has already provided a revised proposal that will lower its costs below the budgeted amount.

Commissioner Craig Lutz said he approved of awarding the contract to Carroll Daniel because the company provided the best and most complete design proposal.

Some county residents have questioned why Cherokee Bluffs is being built when other parks remain unopened as a result of budget cuts in recent years.

Parks Director Mike Little said while the pavilions and bathrooms at Platt Park, for example, are in good shape, staffing levels cannot be met.

“That’s where we’re hurting,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cherokee Bluffs requires very few man-hours, Little said.

The county is also looking into whether a park can be built on land adjacent to the Spout Springs Water

Reclamation Facility, which could include new sporting fields.

But Little said this proposal was only in the conceptual stage and no plans or funding have been identified for construction.

Little has requested about $5 million in funding from SPLOST VII to renovate existing parks if the sales tax is approved by voters next spring.


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