MILTON, Ga. — Residents are getting a clearer picture of the future park on the former Milton Country Club property while the city gets more accurate cost estimates to open the space to the public.
Representatives with site planners Kimley-Horn presented an update to the City Council at its July 15 work session and laid out options related to the park’s development.
A proposed master plan was presented the council in February, but last week’s presentation included updates on how the city could renovate the clubhouse on the property.
The clubhouse planning was welcome news for many of those in attendance who have kids participating in the Milton Mustangs swim program, which is based out of the former country club pool. Many used the public comment portion of the meeting to advocate for opening the clubhouse for use during swim meets, which could assist in staging and organizing the meets and providing shelter in the case of inclement weather.
Before tackling upgrades, Milton would need to complete some construction, including a renovation of the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The initial stage would also include creating two multi-use spaces and storage areas with an estimated cost of $557,000. An informal kitchen and dining space could also be built in the first phase of the renovation. Down the road, improvements would include the addition of community rooms, a dining area, kitchen and open-air pavilion.
Issues to the surrounding park would also need to be addressed before it is opened for public use.
The city will demolish the existing golf cart storage barn and resurface some sidewalks, curbs and ADA ramps in the active portion of the park.
In the passive areas, deteriorated cart paths will be removed and filled with natural surfaces at an estimated cost of $590,000.
A representative with Kimley-Horn said this would create an initial “patchwork” look to the trail, but it would address the safety issues associated with parkgoers walking along cart paths in disrepair. The resulting trail would be approximately 3 miles and would serve as the main portion of a loop in the northern section of the park which would be completed with the construction of a path along Dinsmore Road.
Eventually, all cart paths would be removed and replaced with natural-surface trails, likely constructed with decomposed granite or crushed stone. The paths would cost approximately $1.3 million per mile and would require maintenance.
Dirt could be used as a surface for spur trails connecting to the northern loop, with a wood boardwalk connecting the north and south portions of the park near Chicken Creek.
One concern raised during the planning process has been the safety and privacy of those living along the park’s perimeter, and the city is still considering five options to separate parkgoers from residential properties.
A four-board equestrian fence stands out as the most affordable option and would tie into the aesthetic of many of the city’s developed lands. However, the fence would provide no visual barrier from the park into nearby homes.
Another barrier option the city could consider is a landscaped buffer of varying density and cost. A low-density barrier could include shrubs and would cost half the amount of a high-density buffer, which would include large trees, shrubs and a berm, a small elevation change between the park and homes.
The total estimated cost for opening the park stands at $1.2 million, which would be included the $17 million approximate cost for the complete buildout.
The timeframe to open the park is not set, but City Manager Steve Krokoff said the renovations could be earmarked as a priority by the council. Milton is also set to adopt its millage rate on Aug. 12, and Krokoff said the city could consider adjusting the rate if the council wants to expedite the construction process.