Residents of the city of Dawsonville could finally begin to see dirt moving on the plot of land behind the Municipal Complex and Food Lion grocery store as work on Main Street Park is expected to commence this spring.
After four years of planning and preparation by the Downtown Development Authority and Dawsonville City Council, the council voted Monday night to bid out phase 1 work on the park, which will consist of installing a road that runs through the park as well as grading and grassing the land.
The bid is expected to go out this week or next, and will be out for 30 days.
The current site plan for the park shows that it will contain public restrooms, a playground, a splash pad, walking trails, picnic areas, open fields and an amphitheater, as well as potentially volleyball or bocce ball courts.
Phase 2 will include construction of the playground, which will be accessible for various ages and abilities, as well as construction of the restrooms, picnic areas and picnic pavilions along the walking trails. The amphitheater will also be staged at that point, according to Planning Director Casey Majewski.
Phase 3 construction will include the splash pad, exercise machines along the nature trail as well as construction of the amphitheater.
The Downtown Development Authority closed on a loan to buy the 18 acres for the park on July 25, 2014. The loan was for $550,000, with an agreement that the city pay a monthly installment of $3,729.78 to the DDA for five years.
Once the loan is paid off, the city can purchase the lease agreement from the DDA for $10.
At about $34,000 an acre, the purchase included a credit to the city for $68,000 for road repairs surrounding the complex.
The city has projected to spend $2 million of SPLOST VI revenue on the park. The city also received a $100,000 grant from the state’s Recreational Trail Grants program to build walking trails at the park.
City Manager Bob Bolz said that the city will try to get as much done on the park as possible with the $2.1 million.
“We’re confident we’ll have more than enough for phase 1,” he said. “If the bids come in more conservative than we’re estimating, we may go ahead and do phase 2 projects like the playground before we’re finished with phase 1.”
Bolz said that the firm that created the original site plan estimated the park would cost $7 million, but Bolz said that is a worst-case scenario estimate, and that actual figures should be more conservative.
“We’ll build as much as we can and then for everything else we’ll have to sit back and wait until there is another SPLOST or another source of funding,” Bolz said.
In other business:
Tattoo shop given green light
The council approved a conditional use permit for a tattoo shop to be located in the downtown historic district.
The shop will be located at 54 Hwy. 9 N, Suite 120. Bryan Moye is the owner of the business, Kryptic Ink, which has another branch in Gainesville.
Land purchased for farmers market
The council voted to purchase property located on 82 Allen Street for the site of a future farmers market, as well as voted to allow the city manager to seek bids for the demolition of a home on the site and seek development of a site plan.
According to the purchase agreement, the city will buy the property for $90,000.
The city also owns land adjacent to the property, 124 Allen Street, which will also be used for the farmers market.
Bolz said Tuesday that the farmers market will help tie Main Street Park into downtown Dawsonville.
He said that creating a site plan will be the first step, and that the city is hoping to create something like a farmers market that currently exists in Blairsville.
“They have a series of large covered pavillions with concrete floors and bathrooms attached where vendors can set up and sell their wares under the shelter,” he said. “This would also give us one or two shelters available for other functions like the Moonshine Festival or Spring Fling.”
The plans will include parking, sidewalks, stairs and ramps and will help connect Allen Street to the Municipal Complex and Main Street Park, he said.