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Hall County commissioners discuss preserving land near hospital
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Commissioner Steve Gailey asked the board to consider approving a plan for a native plant preserve at the Hall County Board of Commissioners work session Monday.

Margaret Byrd Rasmussen presented the board with a plan to save eight acres of land slated for development near the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Lanier Park Campus on White Sulphur Road.

Rasmussen said what makes this particular parcel of land so significant is the diversity of plant species that grow there undisturbed.

Native Azalea and Rhodedendron species and a variety of wildflowers thrive there, unthreatened by invasive species.

Rasmussen said the preserve could likely be attained without the use of county funds.

"There are people who care enough," she said. "I’ve encountered nothing but excitement and encouragement."

Commissioner Billy Powell brought up a plan for a 50-acre park. Though there are no formal plans yet, Powell said there may be a master plan by the end of the year for the land, which resulted from a deal with Marina Bay in 2003.

"Parks are really important to me," Powell said. "I think parks are a big quality of life issue."

Also County Administrator Jim Shuler announced Monday was his last day as active county administrator.

"You’ve been an asset to this county in your years of employment," Gailey said. "It’s going to be extremely hard to find someone of your capability."

Jenise Proctor, the grants manager for Hall County, also announced she was resigning from her position.