Columbia County officials will soon decide whether money will be spent on consulting services for a new parking lot at Patriots Park.
The county's diagram of Patriots Park depicts the proposed site of a new parking lot. One hole of the disc golf course would have to be relocated.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Already, the county's Community and Emergency Services Committee has recently agreed to the proposal for nearly $7,800 to hire W.R. Toole Engineers Inc. to design the new parking lot, said Mark Chostner, the county's Facility, Planning and Construction manager. The Columbia County Board of Commissioners will hear the proposal at its July 19 meeting.
Charlie Beale, Columbia County's Recreation Department manager, said Patriots Park has about 600 parking spaces - 300 around the softball complex off William Few Parkway and another 300 in the front parking areas off Columbia Road.
"(During) baseball season or if soccer games are going on, they are parked on the curb and up on the grass and everywhere else out here," Beale said.
Chostner said the new lot, if approved, would add an additional 89 parking spaces in a lot proposed to be constructed between the front baseball fields and the soccer fields. The new lot would serve the soccer complex and the gymnasium, Beale said.
One hole of the park's disc golf course might need to be moved to another site at the park to accommodate the lot, Beale added.
Chostner said the lot construction is estimated to cost about $250,000, but no exact budget for the project has been set. Chostner said the design and permitting stages of the project could be completed in three to four months, if all goes smoothly. But the start of construction might be delayed.
"We've got to look at when the breaks are, when we don't have people in the park," Beale said, adding that there is usually a two-month break in activities at the park in the winter.
"What I'd like to see is that we start building it no later than December or January," Chostner said, adding that the time estimate is based on the permitting process moving smoothly. "But we'll just have to see how it goes. ... Another 90 spaces would certainly help."
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