Sidewalk Capital Improvement Needs

Construct Sidewalk on Valley Street from Beck Street to Ball Ground Elementary School (68)

This would be a proposed 8 foot wide sidewalk that would establish a pedestrian connection to the new Elementary School.

This project has been approved for CDBG funding and plans are being drawn by the engineer as of December 2010.

The area through which this sidewalk is proposed will also serve as a liner park. Estimated cost of this portion of the project will be $30,000.

Construct sidewalk from Blackwell Street to Ball Ground Elementary School along Old Canton Road (68)

This would be a proposed standard 5 foot sidewalk. Funds for this project have been requested through the Safe Routes to School grant process.

The sidewalk would be constructed on the east side of Old Canton Road. Portions of the sidewalk already exist due to residential construction in the area. Estimated cost is $25,000.

Sidewalk Connection on Old Dawsonville Road from Downtown to Calvin Farmer Park (59)

This is a complicated project due to street width, building encroachments, terrain changes and stream crossing. The project is proposed as a combination of concrete sidewalk and wooden board walk. The boardwalk sections would be elevated over streams and drainage ditches.

This project has been pre-approved for CDBG expenditures, and the project should go to bid at the same time as the Valley Street Sidewalk previously discussed. How much of the project actually gets completed remains to be seen as the grant dollars are limited to $85,000.

Construct Sidewalk on Valley Street from Beck Street to Ball Ground Elementary School (68)

This would be a proposed 8 foot wide sidewalk that would establish a pedestrian connection to the new Elementary School.

This project has been approved for CDBG funding and plans are being drawn by the engineer as of December 2010.

The area through which this sidewalk is proposed will also serve as a liner park. Estimated cost of this portion of the project will be $30,000.

Construct Sidewalk on Valley Street from Beck Street to Ball Ground Elementary School (68)

This would be a proposed 8 foot wide sidewalk that would establish a pedestrian connection to the new Elementary School.

This project has been approved for CDBG funding and plans are being drawn by the engineer as of December 2010.

The area through which this sidewalk is proposed will also serve as a liner park. Estimated cost of this portion of the project will be $30,000.

Walking Trail Connection from Calvin Farmer Park to Preston Manor (42)


For the immediate future this project is planned as a compacted earth or mulch trail rather than concrete sidewalk. Accomplishing the project in this manner will help in the creation of a safe walking environment with the grading and ADA compliance requirements of a standard concrete sidewalk.

Installation would take place on the east side of Old Dawsonville Road and would run to the end of existing City property. The City could then install a cross walk on Old Dawsonville Road to create a safer crossing method from residents of the Preston Manor Subdivision to connect to the trail, and ultimately the City sidewalk system. Total cost of the project is estimated at $7,500.

Construct Sidewalk along Canton Highway from Howell Bridge Road north to State Route 372 (31)


This project would take place on the east side of Canton Highway (aka State Route Business 5 or Ball Ground Highway).Several portions of this project present challenging terrain concerns, ultimately requiring substantial back fill in an effort to construct a sufficiently wide sidewalk while still maintaining a comfortable distance from the heavily travelled roadway.

While not ranking particularly high on the priority scale, this project, long term, would provide a viable pedestrian
connection for what will be a heavy residential site with two commercial sites. Because of the grading and backfilling operations this project is difficult to estimate for cost but is anticipated to exceed $100,000.

Public Works Capital Improvement Needs

System Wide Leak Detection Evaluation: (114)


This is the highest ranked project among all projects on the CIP with an estimated cost of $25,000. We are consistently losing about one million gallons of water per month that we do not know where it is going. This is after adjusting an estimated loss for leaks that we find and repair. A loss of this magnitude represents a unaccounted for water loss of 23 gallons per minute, every minute, every day of the year. On a monthly assessment, this loss represents 25% of our total water sales.

Operating a well costs only pennies. If we were to reduce our unaccounted for water loss from 33% down to an acceptable
8%, we would not realize more than $200.00 per month in savings. However; in the long term, recapturing this water could generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, because as the City grows this water would be available for sale rather than forcing us into a buy/sell relationship with the CCWSA which is costly.

Additionally, it must be anticipated that by the time we are required to renew our operating permit in 2015 that we will be required to show a realistic plan for reducing our water loss, and that ultimately we are very likely to be required to show meaningful progress and results by the time our withdrawal permit is up for renewal in 2020.

There are several courses of action the City can take on this project. One is to hire an outside firm with high tech equipment to come in and monitor the system, “listening” for leaks. Many systems have had great results with this approach. We have had two companies provide us with a one day sampling of their capabilities. Neither achieved results.

Another approach would be to install insertion meters in our lines outside the core city and match those readings with meter readings from customers downstream. This could only be done on segregated lines, as readings in the core city would be skewed by the fact that almost all of our lines are now looped.  ONGOING

Mapping of Storm Water System (94)


Accomplishment of this task is a mandate of the North Metro District. We have no existing maps of our system. Initially it is our intent to develop a base map that simply overlays our existing infrastructure onto a road map. Items such as cross drains, catch basins, drop inlets and detention ponds could be shown on map as a geographical location.

Phase II of the project could be to improve the base map by using GIS technology to actually shoot the location of each piece of the system and pinpoint it precisely on a map so that the items are shown with an exact location. 
Estimated cost of phase 1 should be approximately $5,000.
Estimated cost of phase 2 should be approximately $50,000.

Mapping of Water System (94)


Accomplishment of this projected is mandated by the North Metro District. This is a 3 phase project. Phase 1 consists of base map creation, phase 2 would be adding valves and fire hydrants to the phase 1 map, and phase 3 would add water meters to the phase 2 map. Total cost of all 3 phases would be estimated at $15,000.

We currently have a base map that is approximately 75% complete for phase 1. Anticipated cost of finishing phase 1 will be approximately $3,000.

Phase 2 will consist of in house employees physically marking the locations of valves and hydrants on the base map, and then having our engineer import that data into the mapping software. Again the cost should be minimal and should not exceed $5,000.

Phase 3 would be for the engineer to send crews to obtain the actual GIS data from every sing valve, hydrant and meter and then redrawing the water lines on the base map to match precisely with the GIS pinpointed valves. Phase 3, although very beneficial will not have to be accomplished to achieve district compliance.

Mapping of Sewer System (94)


Accomplishment of this project is mandated by the North Metro District. This is a 2 phase project. Total estimated cost of the project is $10,000. 

Phase 1 would be to have our engineer construct a system wide map by taking the initial system construction map and updating it to include the infrastructure shown on plans for all of the new developments and contributed assets. This can be accomplished for approximately $2,500. 

Phase 2 would be for the engineer to send crews to obtain the actual GIS data from every single manhole, air relief valve and lift station, and to pinpoint it precisely on a mapping document. Estimated costs for completion of phase 2 will be $7,500.

Replacement of Public Works Vehicles (92)


All four vehicles in public works have in excess of 100,000 miles. Three of the four vehicles were purchased through state surplus, meaning that another agency believe the vehicles had reach their life expectancy. With the type of use our vehicles see, and with the nature of our system that sees limited driving distances, the purchasing of used vehicles is considered to be prudent.

With the strain on budgets state wide, surplus vehicles are rare, or are at least in very poor condition by the time they reach the surplus yard. Although our intent is to acquire used vehicles to replace our vehicles in the worst condition, it may be through local dealerships.

The need is to obtain a utility truck that could be pre-loaded with leak repair materials and equipment, and also to
obtain one small pick-up truck in good condition to replace our two oldest vehicles. Total Cost at $15,000.  SCHEDULED FOR 2015

Replacement of Asbestos Concrete Water Lines (87)


Once mapping of the water system is complete, we will then be able to determine exactly how much asbestos concrete pipe is in our system and also be able to develop a replacement plan and cost estimate. 

We believe some grant dollars may be available to assist with this project. 

Although we have experienced absolutely no difficulty with our lines, we are aware of some older systems where the line is beginning to deteriorate and sending particles and fibers to the customer. This could be a result of various chemical contents in the water in those locations, however, long term we need to plan for the eventual abandonment of these lines. 

Estimated Cost at this time would be $250,000 to replace 10,000 linear feet of 6” line.  SEEKING GRANTS

Drill Test Well (80)


These estimated cost of this project is currently $40,000. This includes the cost of the driller and the geologist. 

The test location would be in the northeast corner of the six acre tract of property owned by the City, directly behind the Community Building and Softball  field. A test by a previous company results in water, but because of the size of the drill rig, and the depth of the well, they were unable to complete the job. 

If the adequate water is found the well could be developed, for an estimated $150,000 in cost, or the well could be tested an capped, and developed at a future date when the demand for new water was on the system. SCHEDULED FOR 2015

Water Line Replacement on Commerce Lane (76)


In the early years of the Ball Ground Water System, a one inch line was installed on the south side of Commerce Line, but was run behind the houses instead of next to the road. 

Over the years several of the residents along Commerce Lane brought in large quantities of fill dirt to establish back yards in an area that was previously a steep drop off. In doing this, the water line servicing these homes became deeper and deeper. In places we now estimate the depth to be at or near ten feet deep. This is a depth beyond our ability to repair. In addition to the depth, the line is galvanized, which is now proven to be a substandard material for water lines. 

This project would require the accomplishing of four separate bores underneath Commerce Lane and the installation of new services lines to 7 customers. Meters would be moved from behind the houses to the right of way on Commerce Lane. Estimated cost of the project is $10,000.  SCHEDULED FOR 2016

Construct Water Tank (71)


At current customer levels our water storage is adequate. However; by the time each of our platted subdivisions is built out, we will not have sufficient storage room for water. Ideally we should have the ability to store a 24 hour supply of water. Currently we have 1.4 days storage (on average). At times, during peak demand we only have 1.1 days worth of storage, but this is on our highest consumption day of the year.

The most cost effective way to add additional storage would be to construct a 250,000 gallon ground storage tank on property that would need to be acquired from the Roberts family, right next to the existing 110,000 standpipe tank behind Ball Ground Baptist Church.

The existing clear well and pumps from the standpipe tank could be modified to also accept water flow from the new tank, ultimately increasing our storage capacity. We may also want to consider installing a 300,000 tank and simply take the standpipe tank out of service. Estimated cost would be in the vicinity of $300,000. SEEKING GRANT FUNDING

Install Sanitary Sewer North on Canton Highway (42)


This project is the lowest in priority according to our scoring method, however; it could also rise up the list very quickly in the event the possibility of a public/private partnership were to develop.

In order to accomplish this project we would need to acquire land from the Ball Ground United Methodist Church for the construction of a lift station. A force main would then run south along Canton Highway to the vicinity of Densmore Street. A gravity line would be installed north towards Holcomb Crossing on the east side of Canton Highway following the lowest terrain. Estimated cost is $750,000.

An alternative, if desired by private entities would be to install a small grinder pump station at the Holcomb Crossing shopping center and install a force main along Canton Highway back south to Densmore Street. Estimated cost would be approximately $250,000. This would need to be a private project since it would only serve one property.  

— Back to Capital Improvements Plan — 

Public Safety Capital Improvement Needs

Radio Repeater Tower and Transmitter (95)


In the ever changing world of communications, the band width for radio frequencies has continued to narrow. While we typically receive excellent communications service while in a patrol vehicle, the areas within the City have multiplied rapidly where an officer cannot communicate with dispatch, or other officers, using their portable hand held radio. This creates a safety concern for our officers when they are conducting business outside of their patrol car, which is quite frequently.

Fortunately, since we own two water tanks, finding an acceptable mounting place for an antenna system should not be difficult. Estimated cost of this project is $15,000.  

Replacement of Patrol Vehicles (87)


In order to keep our department in safe fully operational vehicles while minimizing significant repair costs it is necessary to plan for the purchase of one new patrol car every two years. As the department grows, this number will of course increase. 

At current rates we are putting approximately 20,000 miles per year on a patrol car. With the goal of retiring a vehicle before reaching 100,000 miles, then each vehicle would be replaced every 5 years. These numbers are flexible depending on the maintenance results and vehicle performance. At times a vehicle may last for 120,000 miles, while others, due to maintenance problems, may need to be replaced at 85,000. 

This establishes a “target” for one new car, every two years, at current staffing levels.

In-Car Computer Systems (67)


Purchasing an in car computer system for each vehicle will maximize each officers road time, provide access to incident location maps, and allow officers the ability to run tags and check warrants quickly and quietly without waiting to do so verbally with a radio dispatcher on a busy communications net. 

The anticipated cost of this would be $2,500 per car including software and wireless card. There will be ongoing costs associated with this equipment for the monthly wireless access service, currently estimated at approximately $70.00 per unit. 

— Back to Capital Improvements Plan — 

Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Needs

Downtown Street Furniture (69)


In order to finish the streetscapes project as originally designed we still need to purchase and place and additional 4 benches, 4 trash receptacles and 2 bicycle racks. 

Although the cost is fairly high for the specified materials, these are extremely durable pieces that we can anticipate lasting a minimum of 10-15 years. 

Bench placement is planned for the area in the vicinity of JJ’s Pizza and Subs, Dot’s, Old City Hall and the flagpole area. One trash can will be placed near each bench. The bicycle racks will be installed at the plaza and near the City Park. 

Cost will be an estimated $9,000.

Valley Street Linear Park (64)


The intent of this project is to create an inviting pedestrian atmosphere along Valley Street from Beck Street south to Howell Bridge East. 

The City already owns all of the property located east of Valley Street and West of the stream, so all that is required to plan for and install amenities such as park benches, shelters, fitness stations, plantings, information kiosks etc. 

An application was submitted to the University of Georgia School of Landscape Architecture in November 2010 for assistance in plan design. Once a plan is created and adopted a cost estimate can be prepared and grant dollars can be sought for construction.  

Estimated cost is $50,000

Installation of Walking Loop Trail in Calvin Farmer Park (58)


The existing walking path in Calvin Farmer Park and near the Community Building is our most heavily used walking/exercise area. The goal with this project is to extend the walking trail in Calvin Farmer Park northward into the 6 acre tract of land acquired by the City for park expansion and sewer lift station construction.

This is also the same land on which the soccer fields are projected to
be constructed. Initially this area can be developed by land clearing and the establishment of a compacted earth walking trail that connects to the existing pathways in Calvin Farmer Park. This cost is estimated to be less than $10,000. 

For a more finished and usable product, asphalt paths could be installed, similar to those in existence in Calvin Farmer Park for a cost of less than $40,000.

Install Public Restrooms Downtown (57)


We are receiving a growing number of requests for the installation of public restrooms in the downtown area. Installation of these facilities would make the downtown a more user friendly area for hosing festivals, picking in the park, Farmers Market, Tree Lightings etc. There are three leading ideas on how to accomplish this project.

  1. Convert the Old City Hall at 301 Gilmer Ferry Road into a public restroom/information Center. This could be accomplished for less than $10,000. 
  2. Construct a small concrete block facility near the back of the Downtown Park (behind the Gazebo). A block building with shingle roof and facilities could be constructed for less than $12,000. The building could be initially constructed with a brick ledge in place so that the building could eventually be face with brick.
  3. Purchase a prefab, vandal resistant restroom facility similar to what was purchased and installed in Calvin Farmer Park. Cost estimate would be in the vicinity of $60,000.


Construct Soccer Fields (50)


Construction of the youth soccer fields is slated to take place on the 6 acres immediately north of Calvin Farmer Park on Old Dawsonville Road.  The City has entered an agreement with North Cherokee Soccer Association, and this group has agreed to construct the fields at no cost to the City of Ball Ground in exchange for use of the fields. 

There is no time line established for construction. Some clearing work has already taken place. All labor is from volunteer sources, making construction timelines difficult to project, however; the group would like to have the fields fit for use by the fall of 2011. 

Estimated cost to the City is $10,000 with total project cost in the vicinity of $100,000 

Install Fountain in Downtown Park (49)


The objective of this project is to install a fountain in Calvin FarmerPark. There are two options. One would be to install a floating fountain in the existing pond with the second option of installing a free standing fountain elsewhere in the park.

The benefits of adding the fountain to the existing pond would be of benefit for fish and other wildlife. The drawback is issues with muskrats chewing the under water cables.

Depending on the route selected, this project can cost as little as $2,000 or an anticipated $15,000—$20,000 for a free standing fountain. The risk and liability would likely be higher on a new structure, as adding a floating fountain to the pond does not change the existing liability of a water feature.

Develop Pocket Park near Ball Ground Elementary School (49)


The intent of this project is to create a small pocket park area with benches and bicycle racks where children would have the option of biking to school. Technically bikes are not allowed on school property. This would enable children to park their bicycles on City property within 20 feet of the school property and they could finish their trip to school on the sidewalk. 

This project would need to run concurrent with development of the cul-de-sac previously discussed in the roads and streets section of the capital improvement plan. The cost could be minimal, just clearing of the area and the costs of bike racks and benches.

The project should be able to be accomplished for less than $5,000.  

Clear and Grade North end of Calvin Farmer Park (6 acres) (43)


This is the same property where the soccer fields and the walking trails are proposed. This will be accomplished in conjunction with construction of the soccer fields.

However; if the soccer fields to not become a reality this could be a stand alone project just to create useable space. 

Extensive clearing needs to take place in the area and could be accomplished for less than $8,000. The trail networks could be installed within minimal grading.

Install Water Fountain at City Hall (39)


The objective of this project is to add a functioning water feature to the City Hall grounds. There are two potential course of action, once of which would be to install a commercial grade tiered fountain with automatic filling features.

The second potential course of action would be to install an inground pool type fountain.  Either course of action should be able to be satisfactorily accomplished for less than $10,000, with the majority of the work being performed by City employees.

All water features present risks either from climbing hazards or drowning hazards, however many communities have installed such with no known problems.

Water/Power Installation in City Parks (34)


Power and water are currently available in all City Parks, but only in central locations. The goal here would be to install an underground electrical network the would allow for the placement of outlets and numerous locations throughout the parks, making them more user friendly for special events and festivals. 

The cost of this project varies widely depending on the amount of electricity to be delivered, the distance involved and the number of outlets placed. A minimal system can be installed for approximately $15,000 in the City Park and $25,000 in Calvin Farmer Park.  


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Facilities Capital Improvement Needs

Construct a New Fire Station (86)


The existing Ball Ground Fire Station is a facility owned by the City, but leased to Cherokee County for use as a fire station.

The facility is a metal building and faces many challenges, primarily concerning the ability to house fire fighters in their living quarters. Grading issues around the building frequently allows storm water to enter the building, primarily in the living quarters.

The SPLOST referendum voted on in 2010, and upon which collections will begin in 2012, have set aside $250,000 local SPLOST dollars to be matched with $1,500,000 in County SPLOST dollars to construct a new fire station.

Although a location for the facility has not yet be secured, options could include the current Community Building location, City owned property on Church Street near the Baptist Church, and property on Old Dawsonville Road near the sewer lift station on the north end of Calvin Farmer Park.


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