MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council approved a grant to construct a fishing pier at Providence Park at its virtual meeting April 27, the board’s first action not dealing directly with the coronavirus pandemic in nearly two months. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant will award Milton up to $100,000 for the pier with a 50/50 match from the city. Milton applied for the grant in October 2018 and was notified in March their request had been approved.

Milton Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge said grant funds will be used to construct an ADA accessible boardwalk leading to the site and the fishing pier. He said the matching grant is up to $100,000, but if the project comes in under that figure, the city will simply pay less from its end and receive a matching amount from the DNR.

City Manager Steve Krokoff previously told the council that in a worst-case scenario, Milton could see a $2.6 million drop in revenues, almost entirely from lost local options sales tax dollars. That could potentially be cause for concern for capital projects like park improvements, but Cregge said funds have already been earmarked for Providence Park upgrades in the city’s capital budget.

Cregge said the city has until December 2021 to complete the pier project under the requirements of the grant.

The allotment continues a trend of Milton taxpayers saving dollars on improvements to Providence Park. The fishing pier is the third project to receive funding from the DNR in the last two years.

Milton was also awarded a $200,000 matching grant for trail improvements and $100,000 match for the construction of a bathroom facility.

Cregge told the council the city expected to receive DNR funds for the fishing pier, so Milton has already opened and completed the bidding process for a firm to design the park addition. The city also wants a cohesive design, so the firm will design the pier, boardwalk and bathroom facility together.

“The goal of this approach was for all three components to architecturally have the same look,” Cregge wrote in an email. “We are in the process of working out a contract with the highest scoring vendor for these projects. That proposed contract should come before the City Council within about a month.”

Also at the meeting, some of the city’s department heads updated officials on operations through the pandemic.

Community Development Director Parag Agrawal said his department’s operations, including building inspections and building permits, have “moved along quite well” over the last month. He said he expects the final draft of the city’s trails master plan and an updated tree ordinance draft should go before the council at its May 18 meeting.

Agrawal said the city’s boards will also resume operations in the coming weeks. The Greenspace Advisory Committee is expected to reconvene May 18 with the Planning Commission, Design Review Board and Board of Zoning Appeals coming back online in June.

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