During a recent meeting of Dalton’s Finance Committee, City Manager Andrew Parker briefed City Council members on several projects. The Finance Committee is made up of Council members.
“I have a good update on the (Heritage Point Park) football complex,” he said.
The city is using approximately $7.075 million of its share of the four-year, $66 million 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) approved by Whitfield County voters to place two football fields in FIFA- Greatness to build at Heritage Point Park. FIFA is an international football association. The SPLOST is a 1% sales tax on most goods sold in the county.
“Everything is positive,” Parker said. “Everything is on schedule. The site work is 85% complete. All state of the art lighting has been installed. The concession and toilet building is essentially complete. At the east end of campus is the parking lot beginning to take shape. This project is progressing well towards a September 2nd completion date.”
The city also plans to build a water sports center adjacent to the Dalton Convention Center.
“We’re still working on scheduling the surveyors,” Parker said. “It’s quite a complicated survey. We expect to start in mid-August and finish by the end of August.”
The $23 million aquatic center is expected to feature a 50-meter competition-size swimming pool as well as an 25-by-25-meter multipurpose pool that could be used for physical therapy. The city retains the outdoor pool at the John Davis Recreation Center, located in James Brown Park.
The aquatic center is expected to accommodate approximately 900 spectators and a separate seating area for approximately 500 swimmers. City council members said the aquatic center will host swimming competitions for local schools, as well as swimming lessons and recreational swimming. Officials also hope it will host regional swimming events across the United States.
It is planned that the competition cymbal will have a Myrtha stainless steel cymbal liner, which is intended to create a very “fast cymbal”.
“Our updated schedule is for us to begin onsite work in the first quarter of 2023,” Parker said. “We assume that the construction work will be completed in August 2024.”
He said the city has issued a call for proposals for a site manager for the renovation of the John Davis Recreation Center and the deadline for proposals is mid-August.
The $4.1 million renovation will be funded by SPLOST 2020. A complete renovation of the 1986 part of the building, which includes all administrative offices and the conference and meeting room on the upper floor, is planned.
The recreation center was built in three stages. The original part was built in 1957. In 1963, the building was expanded to include a gym and additional office space. In 1986, the city added more office space and programming areas.
Also planned are a new gymnasium on the site of the current gymnasium, a new entrance and lobby, a new changing room for lifeguards at the outdoor pool, and a renovation of the pool equipment area.
Parker said the budget for the project is likely to increase due to inflation. But he said other SPLOST projects are coming under budget and “hopefully the city can transfer some of those savings” to the Rec Center project.
“We hope to start work on site in February or March 2023 and complete the project by January 2024,” he said.
Parker said he expects appraisers to evaluate properties for which the city needs ease of use on Market Street during the first phase of plans to revitalize the area.
Phase one of the plans will convert Market Street into a “streetscape” style, including wider sidewalks, on-street parking and decorative benches and lighting, and bury electrical, telephone and cable lines.
“Usually we get the rating,” he said. “We offer the owner this fair market value. This starts a 30-day clock in which they can make a counter offer. We hope that some of the owners will donate us (easements) as this will improve the rest of their property. “