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Play ball: County envisions future special needs field
new courthouse
The Dawson County Government Center is located at 25 Justice Way in downtown Dawsonville.

Dawson County’s Board of Commissioners took some of the first steps toward adding an ADA-compatible or special needs ball field to Rock Creek Park during its March 3 work session.

The commissioners approved a request for the Parks and Recreation Department to use impact fees for getting a design and cost estimate for budgetary purposes. 

During the Feb. 17 work session, Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne explained that this field was listed as one of the projects for SPLOST VII, which voters recently approved in 2021. He will come before the board at a future date to request the funds for the field’s construction. 

Payne said getting the county an estimate sooner would help them proceed with the project sooner, too. 

He elaborated that he talked with Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk, Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk and County Manager David Headley about how to push the project forward “because there is such a huge need” and the accessible field would be “such a wonderful thing to have in our community.” 

Payne added that he’d “love to put it (a new field) on one of Rock Creek Park’s cloverleaf fields” in order to serve the most people possible and also allow it to be used as a regular field. 

District 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield praised Payne and his staff for the job they’ve done with the department’s “Exceptional People in our Community” program.

“They deserve something like this,” Satterfield said. “I think it’s a huge need. I applaud you and your staff for the program you’ve built.”

BOC Chairman Billy Thurmond agreed, saying that he’s traveled with his grandson who plays baseball and has seen similar fields being well-used. 

“It’s a great opportunity for our citizens who may not have that opportunity otherwise, so I applaud that this wound up in SPLOST [VII] and got approved by the citizens,” Thurmond said. “The faster we can get it done, the faster they can use it.”

Upcoming county events

In related news, the second annual “Guns and Hoses” event will be hosted on Tuesday, March 22 at Atlanta Motorsports Park, starting at 2 p.m. The event will include a go-cart driving competition between personnel at the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Emergency Services, David Headley said. 

AMP is donating the go-kart races as a “thank you” for the service that both departments provide to the community, Public Affairs Officer Laura Fulcher added. 

Additionally, Family Connection will host its annual “Teen Maze” event for ninth graders at Dawson County Junior High School on Friday, April 1. 

The event challenges students to graduate high school and learn a trade or go to college without getting blocked by the many obstacles faced in life that could prevent them from achieving their goals.

EMS will provide the event’s opening scene simulation, a car crash with an extraction. 

Laura Fulcher will have a booth to discuss electronic footprints with teenagers and help them understand how what they share on social media can affect them for the rest of their lives, Headley added.