Canton City Council approves design of Etowah River Park
by Ashley Fuller
afuller@cherokeetribune.com
June 19, 2010 12:00 AM | 2906 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More active park space is on its way to Canton with the approval of a design for Etowah River Park.

The Canton City Council on Thursday night finalized the plans by HDR Engineering for the park to be built at the end of Brown Industrial Parkway.

Robbie Bryant of HDR attended the meeting to review the design with the council and the public.

The park will include five baseball fields and three active fields that can be used for soccer, football and lacrosse as well as two basketball courts and two volleyball courts.

Other features of the park include a group shelter, an event lawn, three overlooks of the Etowah River at various points, a pedestrian bridge to Heritage Park, a walking path, a roadway that leads to a canoe launch into the river and a dog park.

Mayor Gene Hobgood said the site posed some challenges because part of it lies in a floodway.

The designers, he said, "have done a really good job putting in place what needed to be in place."

Councilman John Beresford, who has lobbied for more active parks in the city, said he's happy with the final plan.

"The plan fills the needs for a lot of holes," he said, adding he particularly likes the event lawn. "We will have the capability of having some real nice family outings there."

Councilwoman Pat Tanner, who served on the steering committee for the design of the park, said the plan is very good considering the terrain.

"The citizens are going to be happy," she said. "I'm pleased with it and am ready to break ground."

In the rendering, there is an area labeled as a passive lawn, but Ms. Tanner said the text is a typo as the whole park is active.

The park could be ready as early as the fall of 2011, but Beresford said he thinks 2012 is more likely. An early cost estimate for the development of the park is $7 million. It will be paid for with funds from the $90 million county parks bond.

Bryant said development plans would be drafted over the next couple of months.

Earlier this week, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved plans to build a trail connecting the new Etowah River Park to Heritage Park and from Heritage Park to Boling Park.

Also at the council meeting, a committee of Beresford and Councilman Bob Rush, along with city attorney Robert Dyer, was formed to determine if an ethics complaint concerning the acceptance of free memberships to the G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA at the time of its opening should be heard by the ethics committee.

If the investigative committee determines it should be heard by an ethics committee, one will be formed. It will be made up of Bill Grant, Jan Oldt and a third member who they will choose. The third member is to be a local attorney in good standing with the bar association.

The council took votes to approve both actions and the votes were 5-0-1, with Councilwoman Tanner abstaining, as she received one of the memberships.
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