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Hall County plans new public park on Athens Street
County leaders seek input on equipment, amenities for 1-acre lot

A new public park is coming to Athens Street near the Hall County Public Health Department, and the county wants residents' opinion on the layout of the park.

The park is at the back of the lot at 1280 Athens St., the public health building, just south of I-985. A new park in central Hall near Gainesville has been in the works for about two years, according to Jeff Stowe, a member of the Hall County Board of Commissioners representing District 4 in the center of the county.

Feedback meeting on new Athens Street park project

When: 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 9

Where: Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville

Jeff Stowe 2013
Jeff Stowe

Tucked behind the public health building, between it and Athens Highway, is a little more than an acre of land suitable for development as a pocket park.

“We’re now ready to meet with the citizens and find out some things they would like to see in the park and what they prioritize,” Stowe said Friday, April 6. “We don’t have a huge amount of money, so as we get this thing started we’ll do a master plan of all the things we think we can get in there and the community would like to see and then have a list of what items people would like to see first.”

There’s about $250,000 available for the work, according to Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley.

On Monday, Stowe is hosting a public meeting to get input from nearby residents on what they’d like to see done with that money.

Some ideas are already rolling around for the property. Stowe said the area could host a playground, outdoor basketball court, pavilion with grills and a community garden. The sidewalks around the public health complex would be connected and new sidewalks could be added to form a loop of walking area.

If you think these are good ideas, bad ideas or only half of what you’d like to see, residents can weigh in beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center on 715 Fair St., Gainesville.

In addition to the type of equipment people would like to see at the park, the grounds need a name, Stowe said.

If you can’t attend the meeting, an online survey will be available after the meeting at the county website.

The county intends to take public comment for the next month. Stowe said he hopes to have a request for proposals out in September, a bid awarded in November and work completed before spring 2019.

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