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Proposed Athens Street park gets state support for grant application
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Hall County is seeking federal funding for a new public park behind the public health office on Athens Street. - photo by Scott Rogers

Hall County’s grant application for funding to build a park along Athens Street on Gainesville’s south side was just one of two selected by state officials this week for federal consideration.

According to a letter county officials received on Wednesday, Aug. 8 from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “Each state must determine the applications that can be submitted to the federal funding agency, the National Park Service, and move on to compete at the national level. If successful at the national level, applicants can be awarded up to $750,000 in grant funds.”

A project proposed by the City of Roswell was also chosen for consideration.   

Hall County is applying for about $536,000 in federal grant funding to get a park — replete with a playground, pavilion, basketball court, walking trails, exercise stations, spray pool, picnic area, parking, restrooms, lighting, signs and utilities — constructed behind the county health department building and old Butler gym at 1280 Athens St.

The proposed park would primarily serve neighborhoods where many lower-income and middle-class minorities reside.

Hall County Commissioner Jeff Stowe, who represents the area, said the park could be constructed and opened to the public by October 2019.

In its application, Hall County outlines a $1.35 million project on 13 acres, including five acres donated by Fieldale Farms at an appraised value of $445,000.

The county is planning to use special purpose local option sales tax revenue to cover its share of the proposed cost, confident that the grant will come through.

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