UPDATE: Development Authority of Dawson County awarded $300,000 grant to help with manufacturer BTD’s local expansion project.
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Dawsonville, DDA agree on park lease
86XC CityPark
city park

The Main Street Park in downtown Dawsonville is one step closer to reality.

At Monday nights city council meeting, the council voted to approve a lease agreement with the Dawsonville Development Authority to pay rent on 18 acres of property purchased July 25 through the DDA. The city plans to use the property to develop a park. The land is located at the corner of Memory Lane and Main Street.

Preliminary designs for the park show an amphitheater, water feature and performing arts center.

Its an exciting project and its going to be a really nice thing for the downtown area to have a park like that right in the middle of downtown, City Attorney Dana Miles said.

The lease agreement, drafted by Miles, states that the city will pay monthly payments of $3,729.78 to the DDA for five years. The payments would track along the same lines as the promissory note, Miles said.

Miles noted that at the end of five years the city will be responsible for a balloon payment of roughly $398,000, depending on where interest rates fall. The gross sale of the property was $618,120.

Once the note is paid off, the agreement includes a $10 option for the city to purchase the lease agreement from the DDA, allowing the property to become city-owned.

Council Member Angie Smith made the motion to approve the lease agreement. It was seconded by Mike Sosebee. Council Member Chris Gaines abstained from the vote because he also serves on the DDA.

The city hopes to use Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money to pay for the project. Renewal of SPLOST will be on the November ballot.

The city is projecting to spend $2 million from SPLOST on the park.

After the meeting, Gaines said the park will still happen even if SPLOST is not approved by voters. If SPLOST were to get turned down, we still think it is important to get the park out there, he said. We just wont get to do it on the level wed like to do it. We would look to grant money in order to help build out the park, but financially we would be fine.

Gaines said he is excited about what the park will do for the city. I think its a good idea for the area and it is going to draw tourism dollars here. Its great for the locals. Gaines referred to events and concerts that are hosted in a city park in Dahlonega, and he hopes for similar events at Main Street Park.

Although the DDA has approved the terms of the lease, the agreement still must be formally approved by the DDA board.

Also at the meeting, the city council voted to table electing a person to fill an empty slot on the Dawsonville Development Authority because Mayor James Grogan was absent. The council also voted to table a franchise ordinance with AT&T.