ROSWELL, Ga. — Taxpayers in Roswell will soon vote on whether to spend more than $100 million to upgrade parks and sidewalks. The question is one of three major bond referendums on the ballot for citizens in the North Fulton County city in November.
The cost to the average homeowner would add up to around $200 extra per year in property taxes. But the city is trying to make the case to voters that the cost is worth it.
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The total figure of $107 million will be used to upgrade playgrounds, shelters, restrooms, sports fields, fences, trails, and other facilities.
Roswell Area Park would get a big chunk, around $20 million, that includes replacing or rehabilitating the community pool at the park.
East Roswell Park would get just over $8.5 million, while just under a quarter of the bond revenue would go to complete the River Parks Master Plan, developed in 2015 that would upgrade and tie in parks along a 4-to-5-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River from Georgia 400 to the Cobb County line.
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Roswell Parks Director Jeff Leatherman said the capital projects are needed after most of the facilities were built in the 1990s or earlier and are nearing the end of their lifespan.
“We’re doing a great job maintaining our parks, cut the grass, repaint, but at some point you really must go in, rip out concrete, and start over. That’s really what this bond is about,” he said.
The city argues that deferred maintenance over the years under previous councils and administrations, with no money saved to do major renovations, have finally caught up with Roswell.
“Absolutely have to make up lost ground,” said Councilmember William Morthland. “That’s what exciting, putting this bond in play and giving voters opportunity to say ‘yes, this is important to us and the lifestyle we enjoy here.’”
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The two other bond questions on the ballot will ask for $20 million for a new parking deck in downtown Roswell and $52 million to build a new Public Safety headquarters, as well as upgrade and build new fire stations.
The city hosted a public information session Tuesday night and will have four more sessions through October, leading up to election day.
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