Two recreational possibilities in the county - a park and an arena - were among the topics discussed by Columbia County Commission at its Aug. 16 meeting.
A drawing shows the county's proposed plans for the field owned by Doctors Hospital on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans. The county is purchasing the field for use as a park.
On the arena, the possibility of a feasibility study concerning such a venue in Columbia County was delayed for the time being as Commissioner Diane Ford asked for more time to look at the costs associated with such a study.
The commission agreed to hold off on giving the county administrator approval to seek a grant concerning the study, but Commissioner Tommy Mercer assured members of the county's arena/entertainment facility committee that the feasibility study eventually would be pursued.
"I still think it's very important so they (county residents) can be more educated (on the arena possibility),'' Mercer said about the need for a feasibility study.
Commissioners agreed they would discuss the matter further at an upcoming commission retreat Aug. 31 andSept. 1 in Oconee County, Ga.
At the retreat, commission Chairman Ron Cross said, the commission also will discuss the possibility of the county seeking bond money "and we're going to have someone from the (University of Georgia's) Carl Vincent Institute of Government to talk to us about consolidation.''
The commission recently began kicking around the idea of an incorporated Evans and consolidated county government, but they haven't yet made a decision on how to proceed.
Also at Tuesday night's meeting, there was the issue of an Evans Town Center Park, which had a conceptual master plan drawing unveiled.
A design for the property, behind the Kroger in Evans near North Belair Road, hasn't been finalized, but officials and residents heard what might be possible at the site.
The master plan calls for a primary lawn area, which would be large enough to have one championship-size soccer field and two other lawn areas, all to be bordered and separated by trees. A 100- by-600-foot mall area bordered by trees was included between two of the lawns. The plan calls for a fountain at the center of the mall and a playground nearby.
The plan also includes a plaza and restroom facility, bike and walking path, a multipurpose pavilion, parking on the perimeter of the site and an access area linking the site with the nearby planned residential and commercial development Marshall Place.
The plan likely would be phased in but, commissioners say, the county doesn't have the funding to implement such changes to the field, which is owned by Doctors Hospital.
The hospital has signed a contract to sell the land to the county for about $3.9 million, with the closing set to occur before the end of the year. Before anything happens, commissioners say, they'll hold public meetings to gauge the opinions of residents.
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