David Freedman, Chief Engineer of the Department of Natural Resources, was on hand to discuss a contract that would allow the county to take control of $3.4 million in state funds earmarked to construct a visitor’s center.
Due to current economic conditions, explained Freedman, the state does not have enough money to build and “economically sustainable facility” at the battlefield right now. He said turning the project over to local government would benefit the community most. Under the contract, he said, the county would be responsible for maintaining the park, manning it and stocking it with exhibits, but it would keep the revenue from admissions.
Asking communities to contribute money to “leverage” state projects and also turning over state funds to local governments is not unprecedented, Freedman said. The state has agreed to similar contracts with other communities for projects like Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Newnan, Ga. and a campground and visitors’ center on the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia.
The county and the city of Resaca have already agreed to contribute funds totaling close to $1 million to construct a road through the park area, and the city of Calhoun has agreed to provide water service and lines to the site, Commission Chairman Alvin Long said.
He said he hoped the county would be able to build the visitor center under budget with the state funds and have enough money left to eventually furnish the site with historic exhibits.
Also during the Oct. 20 meeting, commissioners:
- Accepted a donation of $5,000 from DTS, Inc. for emergency management services. The county is contracted to receive emergency services on an as-needed bases for the company.
- Approved a lease agreement with Dalton Communications, Inc. for a lease agreement with Dalton Communications, Inc. for a two year lease of a site near Fairmount for a communications tower.
- Approved contracts with the Georgia Department of Transportation for resurfacing of Brownlee Mountain Road, Pocket Road, Pine Chapel Road and West Pine Chapel Road. The projects will be funded with federal LARP (Local Assistance Road Paving) funds.
- Voted to allow county parks and recreation director Derreck McDaniel to submit a bid to host the 2010 Dizzy Dean World Series Baseball Tournament for seven-year-olds.
- Approved budget amendments for per diem increases for the board of tax assessors and the board of equalization from $79.44 to $100 per day for a limited time period for a total amount of $22,000.
- Appointed Addison Layson and Donna McEntyre to the Development Authority.
State, county discuss contract for Battlefield park