MILTON, Ga. – Milton took one step closer toward “growing up” Dec. 1, its ninth birthday of cityhood.
The official groundbreaking occurred for the new City Hall. The building is set to open in April 2017.
Since it was created, Milton’s government has been in rented office space off Deerfield Parkway. It suited the need, but it was rented. By purchasing land and building its own City Hall, the city would be in a position to one day outright own it.
“This is an exciting day,” said Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood. “This is a symbol of progress. As a new city, rather than having the traditions of an established city, we have been able to think outside the box, doing things more like a private business.”
He likened the city’s efforts to build a City Hall to that of buying a home.
“Just like with a home, you want to stop spending money on rent and own your home,” he said.
Jan Jones, the local state representative, was instrumental in Milton’s creation. Jones, now the speaker pro tem, introduced the legislation to create new cities.
“It’s exciting to see the City Hall for a city that wasn’t even an idea 11 years ago,” she said.
Prior to 2005, new municipalities were not allowed within three miles of established cities. What would eventually become Sandy Springs had pushed for years to change that law. Jones worked to help, and in the process, paved the way for the cities of Milton and Johns Creek.
“I’m proud of how Milton has come together, figuring out its identity and what it wanted to be when it grows up,” she said. “With a City Hall, the city has grown up.”
Lockwood said a city hall is a symbol of the community.
“Everybody is proud and excited,” he said. “This is part of being a community. We are excited and look forward to having everybody back for the grand opening.”
New South Construction is the contractor.
Bill Lusk was one of the original city councilmembers, a position he still holds. He said it was impressive to begin work on a City Hall.
“Look at where we were nine or 10 years ago,” he said. “We’ve earned our place on the map and we are recognized as an attractive place to live, work and play.”
In conjunction with the City Hall complex, a new road will snake from McFarlin Lane to the north of the Crabapple Crossroads behind the Olde Blind Dog development to Crabapple Chase Drive. Roundabouts are planned for these intersections.
It’s hoped that work on the road will start early next year, said City Public Works Director Carter Lucas.