Around Town News

Hello Ball Ground:

The Georgia Department of Transportation has provided us with agreements and contracts that will allow us to move forward with the Valley Streetscapes Project. Legal Counsel is now reviewing all the documents. Once the agreements are in place we should be able to go out to bid for construction. Hopefully, we can actually have a contractor working by August 1, 2018. This project will install sidewalks, curb and gutter from the entrance of the Ball Ground STEM Academy on Valley Street, south to Howell Bridge Road. A pedestrian shade structure will also be built at the intersection of Beck Street and Valley Street. Street trees and landscaping will also be installed. Finally, street lighting will be installed between Beck Street and Coy M. Holcomb Street, matching the lights south of Coy M. Holcomb.

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, a notice to proceed was issued to Patriot Rail to make improvements to the Groover Street Rail Crossing. The improvements will consist of concrete crossing panels, widening the crossing, as well as the automated gates and lights to improve safety at this location. This project will run about $280,000. We were fortunate enough to obtain just over $200,000 in grant dollars from the State Fuel Tax fund to assist with this project. We selected Groover Street because the crossing scored higher given the limited visibility, narrowness, and the fact that several complaints on this crossing had been investigated by the National Railroad Safety Board. As soon as complete we hope to convince the railroad to participate in a joint effort on the Depot Street crossing, which is very rough but did not score as high because of width and sight distance. Groover street is scheduled to be resurfaced in May of 2019.

Our major road improvement calendar calls for the resurfacing of Howell Bridge Extension in July of 2018, Groover Street in May of 2019, and Byrd Hill, Nix St and Kilby St in May of 2020. If we have grant writing success we will move these projects forward in the calendar.

Work has started on the outdoor basketball courts. Cracks are repaired and the surface seal coated. The first coat of surface paint has been installed but then we stalled out for rain. Hope to have the courts open by May 2nd or 3rd.

We will be announcing a date soon for the ribbon cutting of our new Senior Center. We are also happy to say that Cherokee County has hired Ball Ground resident Julie Arthur to manage the center. We are anxious for this facility to open and make services available to our seniors as well as seniors from the surrounding area.

Ball Ground Rocks!  Have a great week!
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