County Manager Jerry Cooper said that in April and May, the county received concerns from residents about the running streams on the property.
He requested commissioners to consider changing the design plans since the county has re-evaluated the property and found the need to guard the wetlands.
The park is located between Kellogg Creek and Victory Drive near Bells Ferry, on the far west side of Woodstock and was designed to include two multipurpose fields, two baseball fields and one handicapped-accessible baseball field for the Miracle League.
The new park design, created by Smith and Associates, would merge the multiuse fields into one large meadow field, then convert a field at Hobgood Park into a multipurpose field with artificial turf.
The total park project budget is $7 million, with $5.5 million being spent to build the three baseball fields at Patriot’s Park and $1.5 million to install the turf at Hobgood Park, according to Cooper.
Commissioner Harry Johnston said he was concerned about eliminating the multipurpose fields.
“We’re not really moving the field. There would be no new multipurpose field and none at Patriot’s Park. There’s only going to be a conversion of a field at Hobgood from natural grass to turf,” Johnston said in the work session Tuesday. “We’re not adding anything. In terms of having game quality fields, we’re doing away with two and not adding a new field. We’re just converting a field.”
Commissioner Jason Nelms said the large meadow area at Patriot’s Park will still be playable.
“At the end of the day the capacity is going to be met with those three additional fields at Patriot’s,” Nelms said. “And the one continuous field will be playable and could be used for football practices or other activities. We’re lacking return on practice space and baseball capacity down there. Being tied into the athletics down there, I know the voters are ready for this.”
Commissioners decided in June to draw the $22.8 million remaining in bonds citizens voted for in 2008 and earmarked most of the money for Patriot’s Park.
While commissioners voted to approve the new designs unanimously, Johnston said if the parks were in his district, he would look at other options.
“I had some concerns going forward with this site given the water issues will result in only getting three ball fields for a pretty high cost. If it was in my area, I think I would be pushing for us to take a look at some other options,” Johnston said. “The southwest commissioners feel strongly that we should go forward and I don’t tend to get in their way and I do support them, but if it was up to me I would look at some different sites to get more fields for our money.”