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City eyes land for park
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The City of Dawsonville is looking to buy vacant property behind its Municipal Complex for a park and amphitheater.

Mayor James Grogan talked about the potential project during a recent work session of the city council.

Assuming we can get it at a reasonable price, the plan is to turn this land into the Main Street Park project, he said. We hope to have a small amphitheater, a splash pad, a recreational area for the kids and a walking/running trail around the entire facility. Once we get our sidewalks connected, everyone can walk to the park.

Rialto Bank currently owns approximately 14.5 acres between the library and the Municipal Complex.

The city has made a tentative offer to the bank, according to Grogan.

If the offer is accepted, the next step would be to seek approval from a majority of city council members.

No public hearings are required.

Council member Angie Smith is cautiously optimistic.

For me, its about the money at this point, she said. I think the vision is good. If things work and the price is right, Im for it, but we also have to consider the cost of putting up the things we want.

Council member Jason Power agrees.

Generally, I think a park is always a valuable idea, he said. I hope we can develop, conceptually, something that can work for the city and be useful for its residents.

Cities across the nation have bought open space for their residents.

Westminster, Colo., for example, started with a four-acre purchase in 1985. Today, the city owns more than 3,000 acres of open space for parks and recreation.

These parks and open space belong to the residents, said Heather Cronenberg, open space coordinator for the city of Westminster. They are there for their use and enjoyment. And a big part of our open space program is connectivity -- using sidewalks to connect these open spaces -- gets people out of their cars and creates a pedestrain-friendly community. People begin to understand they can utilize them for health and wellness.

Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the nation at 20.5 percent.

Georgias obesity rate is 27.7 percent for men and 30.8 percent for women, according to Georgia Health News.