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Go Fish could lure big bucks ($17 million a year) in economic impact for Hall

POSTED: February 3, 2008 5:04 a.m.

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The Hall County Commission reviewed Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Go Fish Georgia Initiative at a work session Tuesday, and will consider approving the engineering contract for related construction at Laurel Park at a Thursday meeting.

Hall County Assistant Administrator Phil Sutton said Go Fish, which wants to build a four-lane ramp at Laurel Park as well as a bass trail with 15 possible boating sites across the state, could have a $17 million per year economic impact in Hall County.

The county is considering hiring Rochester and Associates Inc. to provide engineering and design services for the mega-ramp and bass trail at Laurel Park. Sutton said Laurel Park is one of 10 sites approved for the Go Fish Georgia bass trail that would promote boating and fishing statewide.

Go Fish Georgia funds will provide up to 50 percent of the cost of construction, up to $400,000 per project. The program will allot $400,000 to the Laurel Park project, and through grant approval, Hall County has committed $515,000 in matching funds.

Sutton said it’s difficult to determine a timeline for the construction at Laurel Park. But the boat ramps would come first.

Commissioners also reviewed details regarding a 261-lot single-family subdivision proposed along Duckett Mill Road in North Hall. The subdivision, proposed on Lake Lanier waterfront property, could include homes priced at roughly $600,000, Commissioner Billy Powell said.

The Portofino plan submitted to the commission states that the subdivision would have on-site sewer and boat docks.

The commission denied developer Fred Milani’s first request for rezoning in March 2007. Powell said Milani slightly reduced the number of units and dock space in the second plan, and again wants the 217 acres rezoned to planned residential development. The commission will consider the request at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville.

In a separate meeting, the Hall County Planning Commission elected two new officers Tuesday evening.

Chris Braswell will replace Don Smallwood as planning commission chairman, and Frank Sosebee will replace Chris Braswell as planning commission vice chairman.



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