Big Money for New Park


By Ben Wolf
June 19, 2007

The city of Valdosta just made a $675,000 purchase of almost two acres of land located on Gornto Road. Their goal is a park and recreation center.

"That's the beauty of it. It's ready to move into and almost nothing has to be done to it to make it programmable like right on the spot," said Parks and Rec director Eric Hahn.

When it comes to people exercising, Hahn says it's all about location, location, location.

"That's one of the determinations of whether people use it is if it's nearby," he said.

There is no specific plan in place right now for how the new park will be used. Hahn is considering kids camps, a walking trail, and senior citizen activities.

Residents living throughout the neighborhood across the street from the property that's going to be converted into a park say they're very mixed on the idea.

"It's an awfully expensive thing to put in what they claim the primary purpose being a senior citizen area, when we already have a very expensive senior citizen building on park avenue," said Valdosta resident Fred White.

"People would use the walking trail over there, and like that park, I mean, it's a beautiful neighborhood. We don't really want anymore shops moving in," said Valdosta resident Marie Dazey.

The city paid for the park using special projects local options sales tax funds.

The Valdosta City Council denied a potential rezoning request in December '06 to put a miniature golf and family center on the property.


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