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April 02, 2013MILTON, Ga. — About 10 city officials addressed community issues, and road improvements and city parks were among the most popular community concerns.
Milton High School's PTSA sponsored a "Coffee with the Mayor" and other city officials in the school's media center on March 26.
PTSA Family Involvement Committee Chair Sabrina Moore organized the event.
"The PTSA wanted to organize an event to bring our community and government together," Moore said. "We wanted to give the community an opportunity to meet and interact casually with the mayor and other members of our government."
Mayor Joe Lockwood introduced city departments and then allowed community members to ask questions.
"Each one of our employees really cares about the city and its citizens," Lockwood said.
Councilmembers Bill Lusk, Matt Kunz, Burt Hewitt, Lance Large and Karen Thurman attended, along with Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar, Public Works Director Carter Lucas and Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge.
Lucas fielded questions about three problem intersections, New Providence and Providence roads, New Providence Road and Birmingham Highway and the intersections of Hopewell, Cogburn and Francis roads.
"These intersections will become roundabouts," Lucas said.
He said roundabouts are more proficient than before and would eliminate long-term maintenance issues common with traffic signals.
"The state will split the cost of all of the roundabouts except for the one located at Hopewell, Cogburn and Francis roads," Lucas said. "The city will pay for that one."
Lucas said the roundabout for New Providence and Providence roads is behind schedule.
"We just purchased the balance of the property and it could take about 18 months or more after bids are in, for completion," Lucas said.
Lucas didn't give a time frame for the other roundabouts, but said the one for Birmingham Highway and New Providence has design plans to increase it to two lanes.
"The intersection of Hopewell, Cogburn and Francis roads will have a single lane with a dedicated right-hand turn and a slip lane at the southbound entrance of Hopewell Road," Lucas said.
Cregge fielded questions about the Bell Memorial Park expansion.
"We've hired a design team to do a series of studies on the land," he said. "Soon, we'll schedule two or three community involvement meetings for input."
Cregge said the department has outlined general goals and use for the park, including rectangular fields for lacrosse and other sports.
"We want it to be more than a baseball park," he said.
Questions were asked about the rough terrain at Birmingham Park.
Cregge said he's served on four commissions to determine how to work with the park.
"This park is a challenge," he said. "Citizens who live near the park are concerned about what the park would do to their quality of life."
Cregge said he doesn't want to make the 200-acre park all passive or active but he's waiting to address it until after Bell Memorial Park is finished.
"We want prove to the city we know what we're doing with Bell Memorial Park and then tackle Birmingham Park in the future."
Cregge also said Providence Park has not officially been released for environmental damage but that he's been told unofficially the cleanup is done.
"The waste found wasn't heavy metals, but things like paint and cleaners," he said.
There are no current plans for Providence Park.
Resident Matt Mitchell attended the meeting.
"What I like best about our city government is that they truly seem to care about the community," Mitchell said. "They care about improving the city and what the community in general wants, and you don't always see that in government."
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