By CHRIS MENEES
Jeff Campbell has an exciting vision for South Fulton.
And he’s offering a generous gift to make it happen.
Campbell, who has been active in many revitalization projects in the Twin Cities, has proposed an exciting project which will provide a much-needed community park in South Fulton.
He pitched his proposal to the South Fulton City Commission during its session Thursday evening.
Campbell has offered to personally provide the matching funds for a Local Parks and Recreation Fund Grant, a 50/50 matching grant available through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Explaining he wants “a first-class park,” he said he has personally partnered with A2H — Askew Hargraves Harcourt & Associates Inc. — a full-service firm of engineers, architects, planners, landscape architects and land surveyors.
Campbell said it has been South Fulton resident Johnny Lucy’s longtime dream to have a park in the city’s downtown area and he said he has been acquiring some parcels of land. He said the city has looked at some park grants in the past, but the 50 percent matching portion has been a problem.
“I will provide the match,” he said.
Registered landscape architect Andy Reynolds showed commissioners a parcel map for the proposed park, a four-acre area which would have boundaries of State Line, Broadway Street, Harris Fork Creek and Wade Street. He said some elements could include play structures, an amphitheater and a walking trail.
“There’s a lot of potential there,” he said.
South Fulton Mayor David Crocker said most of the lots in the area are already cleared. Reynolds said the only stipulation is that if the land is used for a park, it has to remain a park forever.
Reynolds explained that in order to obtain grant funding, the applicant must be a city or county government, rather than an individual. He said applications are due at the end of June and those involved in the project were there Thursday to seek the commission’s approval for grant application.
Campbell said A2H has grant writers on staff and he said there will be minimal work for South Fulton city manager Debra Craig.
Campbell told commis-sioners he wants to give his $250,000 gift of matching grant funds to the City of South Fulton “freely, with four conditions.”
His conditions include the city agreeing to support and proceed with the grant process; the city offering in-kind services to cap off any old sewer or water lines found during construction; his providing funding only if the park is constructed on the downtown parcels proposed, since that area is highly visible, there are many Twin Cities community events staged downtown and there is a need for a park in that neighborhood; and his having final approval of the concept design, with welcome input from others.
Campbell said he has also had his attorney draft a document to ensure there will be an endowment to provide the park funding in the event anything happens to him before the project is done.
The city would be required to maintain the park after its completion and there would be a requirement for someone to have the title of parks director at a later time.
Crocker made the motion to have the city manager proceed with the grant application with the assistance of A2H. It was approved by a vote of 3-0.
In other action during Thursday evening’s 35-minute meeting, which was opened with prayer led by commissioner Tony Perry and with the Pledge of Allegiance, the city commission:
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance to call an election for Nov. 6 to elect two city commissioners and the mayor at-large for four-year terms. The commission seats are those from Districts 1 and 4, currently held by Charles Moody and Jeff Vowell, respectively.
• Approved a resolution directing that agricultural property which is zoned residential will retain agricultural uses.
• Learned a special court session was scheduled for this morning specifically to address property code violations. Mrs. Craig emphasized the city is serious about enforcing violations.
• Was reminded the Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet is set for May 24.
• Congratulated the South Fulton High School softball team, which won the regionals Wednesday and was to host the sectional game at noon today.
• Learned a budget meeting will be scheduled soon.
• Heard Moody express concerns about people walking pit bull breed dogs in areas with children and the need for the dogs to be muzzled. South Fulton Police Department Capt. David Lamb said he believes the muzzle requirement for certain breeds of dogs, including pit bulls, is included in the city’s ordinance and he will check into it further.
Vowell was absent from Thursday evening’s meeting and commissioner Thomas Pettigrew was called away about 10 minutes into the session.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.18.12