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County moves forward on North Hall park and library
Construction could begin this summer
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Hall County Public Works is getting down to business on the North Hall park and library.

At its last meeting, the Hall County Board of Commissioners approved a change order for the park, ending months of debate over the location of the North Hall library.

The county will build the library on the same site as the park and community center. Architects are working on the design now, and construction could begin this summer.

“We basically re-kicked off and started the project over this week,” Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden said. “Probably within the next month we’ll unveil the master plan.”

The $253,500 change order for the North Hall park and community center will cover the architectural costs of master planning, schematic design, detailed design, construction administration and coordination of the library.

“It’s basically all-inclusive,” Rearden said.

County officials are now working on a study of the 123-acre Nopone Road property. Because parts of the property are in a flood plain or flood way, studies must be submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency before any construction can begin.

“They have to approve flood plain impacts,” Rearden said. “If we have that, we can get a permit in 60 to 90 days.”

The design work to combine the park and library into one facility will be done by Brewster & Crocker, the company already working on the center.

At this point, Rearden said the park’s opening will not be delayed due to the library addition.

“We’re still working toward that goal of November 2011,” Rearden said. “Hopefully we are looking to have some bids out in June to get this thing under construction this summer.”

Though the county has taken official action on the library, to Clermont, the issue is not yet resolved.

Many Clermont residents spoke against the county’s plan to build the park and library on the same property. They said they were promised the North Hall library would be built on land purchased in the city of Clermont, if the special purpose local option sales tax was approved.

The town plans to file suit against Hall County, claiming officials abused their discretion with sales tax dollars by moving the location of the project.

Hall County said no such promise was made and no vote was taken on the location of the North Hall library until the commission voted in late February to place it at Nopone Road.

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