If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
Are there any plans to reopen Murrayville Park now that Hall County’s budget is in better shape?
According to Billy Powell, the Hall County commissioner representing the district where the park is located, there are no current plans to reopen Murrayville Park.
“Although Hall County’s fund balance has increased in recent years, employee furloughs were eliminated and the retirement base was restored, Hall County is still operating under a very lean and fiscally conservative budget,” he said in an email. “Hall County continues its austerity program, concentrating on maintaining core services and reducing costs wherever possible.”
Murrayville Park, which is off Bark Camp Road in the northwestern part of the county, was closed in 2011 after funding for the Parks and Leisure Department was cut heavily.
“During the big budget crisis, we had significant staffing cuts and budget cuts, and the decision was made to close,” said Mike Little, director of Parks and Leisure.
In addition to the Murrayville location, Tadmore, Platt and Rafe Banks parks were closed as well. Later that year, the city of Lula leased Rafe Banks from Hall County and reopened it. The lease will last for 25 years.
Currently, Murrayville Park has two baseball fields and a pavilion. If the county did decide to reopen the park, significant renovations and repairs would be needed.
“It’s one of the oldest parks within our system and it wasn’t in tip-top shape when it was closed,” Little said. “When it is reopened, it is going to take some major renovations.”