Roswell town green project OK’d

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ROSWELL, Ga. – The Roswell City Council unanimously approved moving forward with a plan to create a town green and public spaces around City Hall.

With a price tag of $578,000, the design for the project will include a town green, outdoor amphitheater, restrooms and a promenade as well as landscaping. The Faces of War veterans’ memorial will be moved to make way for the green, being placed on the north side of the lawn. The actual construction will take place in stages over several years.

Overall, the project is expected to cost about $5.2 million.

“The whole thing is to activate, connect and support Canton Street,” said Monica Hagewood, of the Downtown Development Authority, which conceived and developed the plan.

When Roswell’s City Hall was built, the designers placed it facing away from Ga. 9 and Canton Street, instead leaving a wooded area between them. This has closed off the City Hall complex – and it’s many parking spaces - from the popular heart of Roswell.

The town green is an effort to fix this, connecting the two entities. It will open up City Hall and create a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, supporters say.

City Administrator Kay Love said that once the concept designs are drawn up, they will undergo public hearings and scrutiny to focus on what the citizens of Roswell want them to look like.

“Sometimes the best use is to not touch it so much,” said resident Janet Russell. “The plan is too intensive and that an open green is the wrong idea – after all, who wants to sit in the August sun? Leave the trees, she said.

“This is not Versailles, this is City Hall,” she said.

In defending the costs, members of council pointed to other times the city has spent to improve streetscapes and have their investment return many times over. A prime example is Canton Street, where the city installed the brick sidewalks and streetlamps. This spurred the redevelopment and restaurant frenzy that now exists.

The same investment in City Hall, Hagewood said, would help spread Canton Street’s success further afield, up and down Ga. 9.

“This is a terrific vision for our city,” said Dippolito. “This isn’t about spending. This is an investment in our city.”

The motion to approve the concept of the town green was approved unanimously.

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