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Construction on state park pushed back
Don Carter State Park work first slated to begin in Nov.
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Construction on Don Carter State Park at Lake Lanier may not begin until 2012, Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials said Monday.

Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for the Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites division of DNR, said a building contract was awarded on Oct. 12 to Astra Group, Inc, but further progress is unknown.

"We don't know exactly when construction will begin," Hatcher said. "We're hoping it will begin before the end of the year or shortly after the beginning of the year."

Construction was originally slated to begin in November and end in spring 2013. Hatcher said that part of the timeline will not change much.

"We don't have a specific timeline ... It'll be about a year and a half," she said. "The design side of the project took longer than expected."

Hatcher said designers wanted the park to achieve some level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification to make Don Carter State Park environmentally responsible.

The park, located on the northern part of Lake Lanier, will be about 1,040 acres.

It's supposed to include a visitor center, at least five cabins, tent sites, playgrounds, beaches, picnic shelters, boat docks, recreational vehicle camp sites, comfort

stations, a bath house and trails for hiking and equestrian activities.

Hatcher said the estimated construction cost is still $11.3 million, which will be paid for by bond sales.

Kevin McInturff, engineer for Hall County said the county's main job in the project is to approve the building permits and handle associated road improvements.

"The county's level of commitment in the intergovernmental agreement is $465,000 for the roadway improvements. The schedule will be this next fiscal year. It'll be after July 2012," McInturff said.

He said the county's improvements will be paid for by special purpose local option sales tax dollars.

Some roadways near the park site were not properly designed to handle recreational vehicle travel, which is why the improvements are necessary.

Additional road projects include the state and county swapping other rights of way.

"We are reviewing the soil erosion and permitting plans. We just received Friday the re-submitted plans," McInturff said. "We're looking at that right now. We're looking to acquire some additional right of ways."

He said the county was unsure of the timeline on the road improvement completion.

"It depends a little bit on the funding availability," McInturff said.


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