JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek City Council got down to business on its long-awaited improvements to the Bell and Boles Road corridor.
At its Sept. 8 work session, the council considered a proposed $1.4 million roundabout to be placed at Bell Road and Rogers Circle South. The roundabout would be placed near the entrance of the new Cauley Creek Park.
Plans call for construction to be similar to the roundabout at Bell and Boles roads with three legs. Funding would come from the local transportation sales tax, or TSPLOST.
The project also includes funding for filling in the gap of sidewalk and trail between a number of neighborhoods and Shakerag Elementary and River Trail Middle School. Fulton County has notified the city it will reimburse costs for relocation of water utilities necessary to the project.
Council members Stephanie Endres and John Bradberry both requested a status check on TSPLOST funding to ensure revenues are meeting demand.
The council agreed to move the project forward for consideration during a regular formal meeting.
Also at the work session, TSPLOST Manager Brian O’Connor requested to advance the Bell Road and Cauley Creek Tributary Bridge project to the right-of-way phase. The project would replace the current roadway and separate pedestrian walkway with a new bridge that includes its own pedestrian walkway.
O’Connor said he does not anticipate any pushback on this project and has received positive feedback since it was presented during a January work session in 2019. O’Connor requested approval to use $150,000 of the project’s budget for the right-of-way acquisition. He assured officials this would leave them sufficient funds to complete the project, including the expense of the bridge, estimated at $1 million.
Council members agreed to move the item to the consent agenda at the next formal meeting.
The work session also included lengthy discussion on which city-sponsored events should remain on the calendar.
Recreation Manager Kirk Franz requested that $18,250 be released from the embargoed special event funds for a Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra concert on Oct. 3. He also suggested that the other October events, such as Trunk or Treat and Johns Creek Arts Festival, be canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
The symphony was to be held in the Mark Burkhalter outdoor amphitheater at Newtown Park. Because of the large size of the amphitheater, they anticipated accommodating a crowd of between 200-300 patrons in a safe environment allowing for social distancing.
“Due to the stationary nature and by implementing COVID-19 plan, we are confident that we can safely execute this event while minimizing the transmission of COVID-19,” Franz said.
However, the mayor and council felt the money wouldn’t be worth it right now.
“That’s a lot of money for 200 or 300 people,” Councilman Lenny Zaprowski said. “I’d rather see us wait till we get the approval and have a bang with the symphony where everyone could come out.”
Councilman John Bradberry conceded that the event was expensive for the number of people, but he also stressed the need to present residents with some sort of opportunity to participate in a community function.
“We have a responsibility to try to do everything that we can while maintaining the parameters that we’re all well aware of,” Bradberry said.
The council weighed the need for events against the turnout and cost, ultimately deciding it best to cancel all October events. Members said they hope the city can make arrangements to hold some events after October where more people can assemble in a safe environment.
“Find a way to bring people together safely and cost-effectively,” Mayor Bodker said. “If we can do that, I support that completely.”