County’s River Park moving closer to upgrades

Community, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Department is coming close to the final stage of erecting its new playground.

District 7 Representative and Speaker of the House David Ralston tours the new facilities during a day at the park celebrating the baseball season.

District 7 Representative and Speaker of the House David Ralston tours the new facilities during a day at the park celebrating the baseball season.

Though seeing a few delays with the rain and weather the county has seen lately, the park’s new equipment should be completed within the next two weeks according to Parks and Recreation Director Kevan White. Originally, discussion of the park in the commissioners meetings planned for completion by this weekend. Less than a month delay from weather will still have the new playground open before the height of summer.

The new equipment will be lit by LED lights and could see cameras used for security in the area. The cameras and lighting are being considered throughout the park, but no set date or action has been made on that expansion yet.

Furthering the progress, White tells FetchYourNews that this is not the end or even midway into the renovations he is hoping to see for the River Park. The department has already begun renovations on the large pavilion between the other newer playground and the current tennis courts. Setting a retaining wall and resolving the drainage issue was the major part, but the department is also fixing the columns inside the pavilion and replacing doors, stalls, and handrails in the bathrooms.

The Gilmer Board of Commissioners approved a bid this month for Johnson Paving, located in Blue Ridge, to repave the walking trail in the park for $31,932. White says the walking trail will not be affected by the playground and the project is free to move forward without delay. As soon as the paperwork goes through, citizens could see the trail improved by end of May.

This repaving will replace the current 3/4 mile track and add another quarter mile to create a full mile-long track. The trail has also already received new lighting from a Georgia Power project as well.

Additionally, White is waiting for an approval for the county’s application for an USGA grant. If the grant is approved, the county will move forward with not just replacing the current tennis courts, but building a new pair next to the civic center. With grant approval, this will replace the smallest ball field to the left of the civic center (from the road) next to Old Highway 5.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevan White shows the new upgrades to Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevan White shows the new upgrades to Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston.

The new tennis courts will hold an additional use as well. White echoed a comment from Gilmer County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlie Paris saying that he is hopeful for the grant and having a little left over. If the county has any money left over after these projects, then they will have one court host both a junior court and a use as a pickle ball court.

The old tennis courts would be removed and used for parking. White mentioned that he hoped for an option to add something more to the area at a later date. He mentioned an open-air stage as something he would hope for, but said it was too far off to give any real thought or ideas.

White went on to say that once the new playground is completed, they will look to remove the older equipment across the parking lot with the pavilion connected and could move to replacing the pavilion at the very end of the park near the spring. The intentions to replace these pavilions indicate the department’s movement away from the wood structures of the area for a more concrete foundation in hopes to better resist flooding and weather damage in the future.

Concrete options not only help fight flood damage but are designed for easier cleaning and maintenance as well.

These projects and options are all designed, White said, to be independent of each other, making the progress move as quickly as possible. He even noted that they are already looking to the other end of the park near Veteran’s Memorial Bridge but have no set plans yet.

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River Park making progress on new playground

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – After several months of budget hearings, and new information from the Commissioners monthly meetings, the Gilmer County Parks and Recreation Department is nearing completion of new playground equipment at River Park.

The equipment is currently being installed an unusable at this time. However, with weather permitting, the playground will be open and accessible within the next two to three weeks.

The playground is located next to the parking lot across the street from the Piedmont Emergency Department. It is next to the ball fields and walking path of river park.

Continuing the work of the park, the Commissioner’s have also approved a paving contract to lay new asphalt on the walking path to repair and improve the spot. Though they originally wanted to change from asphalt to concrete, the project would have seen too many obstacles due to the “land disturbing activity.” It was labeled as such due to the path’s proximity to the river.

Discussions last year also indicated the Commissioner’s were considering renovating the tennis courts to include pickle ball as well. This along with the work on the playground and path, Gilmer citizens may be seeing future changes to transform River Park into something unrecognizable compared to what we are used to at the site.

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Live Coverage: Gilmer Parks & Rec Basketball Tournament

Bobcat's Corner, Sports

Join us as TeamFYNSports, FYNTV, FetchYourNews proudly present the LIVE coverage of the entire Gilmer Parks & Recreation annual basketball tournament. Coverage begins Saturday morning at 9 AM and all games will be streamed LIVE on FYNTV.com and our YouTube Channel and we will be posting updates via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.

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Rec Football Postseason Brackets Set

Parks and Recreation

Saturday (Oct 15) marked the final week of regular season football for the Mountain Football League.  The MFL consists of Chestatee, Dawson, East Hall, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union and West Hall; and age divisions begin with 6u (under 6-years-old) and go up to 7th-grade.  Parents and coaches of youth athletes are encouraged to please send your photos, stats and game stories to Jason@fetchyournews.com so that we can highlight the youth players throughout the post-season!

6u Playoff Bracket

7u Playoff Bracket

8u Playoff Bracket

9u Playoff Bracket

10u Playoff Bracket

7th Grade Playoff Bracket

 

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Chairman Paris Offers “State of the County”

News

Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stops by to speak about a number of issues with Good Morning From the Office.

Chairman Paris goes over the recent audit for our county and its implications including a new line item in the budget for Contingency Funds, this year’s Tax Anticipation Note (TAN), and the separation of our Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) into a separate account from the General Fund and its effect on the TAN.

Paris also discusses the County’s Roads and how we have improved the Road Department’s quality and speed with new equipment and additional employees. Specifically, he updates you on the progress of Ridgeway Church Road: one property owner is delaying the road paving, but overcoming that obstacle could see paving by end of summer.

Gilmer County could see a heavy consent order, a $174,000 fine originally, completed in the next months now that the Audit is completed along with all the points on the order.

After a poor bid for clearing the lot for Cherry Log Fire Station, the Commissioners are planning to bid laying asphalt for this year’s LMIG to free up road department to clear the land. Attempting to keep the project moving towards December completion date, this paving bids are part of Chairman Paris’ attempts to not let the Fire Station become “Chairman Paris’ Clear Creek Ball Fields.”

A final note from Paris’ visit mentioned his proposal for next year to begin setting aside $300,000 for a new pool over next 4 years. At the end of four years, enough money should be saved to build a new pool and then begin moving forward to build onto it with other options such as a covering.

 

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New Facility to Be Developed By NGCF

News

ELLIJAY, GA – With a emphasized focus on educational opportunity and advancement, a new facility is slated to begin construction soon in Ellijay.

Some may not recognize Victory Circle (pictured) in Ellijay, which is located near the Maddox Drive and Progress Road intersection, but the campus offers a total twelve acres for site.

Their full press release is as follows:

The North Georgia Christian Foundation  (NGCF) is pleased to announce a new venture at the Victory Circle location in Ellijay. The twelve acre site was previously the home of a 107,000 square foot manufacturing facility that was once used for carpet production.  NGCF intends to repurpose the structure and name it the North Georgia Christian Center. It will be a multipurpose facility that will include areas for education, indoor and outdoor recreation, meeting space, and even a 10,000 sq. ft. auditorium.
According to NGCF, a portion of the facility will be the new home of North Georgia Christian Academy, which is currently housed a few miles out 282 West.

The goal is to make the facilities available to other groups on a short term lease basis as long as the use does not interfere with the school(s) usage and the uses comply with the standards established by the Christian Foundation which will own and operate the property. For instance, the three basketball/volleyball courts would make an ideal place for community tournaments, the large auditorium and community room would be a great space for large community events.

In addition, the North Georgia Christian Center has interest in sharing space with a University satellite campus or Christian Seminary as they continue to expand educational opportunities in the community.

The primary goal is for the Center to be a wonderful asset to our community and to honor God in all its functions and purpose! The remainder of the architectural design and the construction are slated to take about two years, with the facility being ready for occupancy in June, 2019.

Though this project is in its extremely early stages, FYN does understand that the project planning has already begun and will continue to offer updates as available.

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