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Milton buys more land to expand park space

Tom McKlveen at Milton City Council

Milton Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen presents a $1.4 million contract for new park space at the Jan. 18 Milton City Council meeting. The council unanimously approved the agreement, handing over 4.86 acres of land to the city for recreational programming.

MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council approved a $1.4 million contract for additional recreational space at its Jan. 18 meeting.

In an email, Milton Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen said he had been working to acquire the 4.86 acres of land on Hopewell Road since last year. The city’s general fund and impact fees will be used to pay for the purchase in full, he said.

Milton now has capability of active recreation programming on about 53 acres, McKlveen said. This does not include land going under contract in recent months along Bethany Way and Hopewell Road, nor does it include Providence Park, Birmingham Park, the “passive” part of Milton City Park and Preserve and assorted greenspaces.

At the council meeting, McKlveen emphasized the location of the land, which is in the southern portion of the city nearby Providence Park. He said the purchase gives the city further flexibility and options when it comes to master park planning for the assemblage of properties under contract in the same area.

There will be an extensive process involving public engagement before determining how exactly the space will be used, McKlveen said, and the process will be guided by recommendations laid out in the city’s 2027 Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

“You’ve been busy this past year,” Milton Mayor Peyton Jamison said. “It’s gonna be more busy, I guess. I appreciate it.”

In other action, the City Council approved qualifying fees for the 2023 municipal election, in which council seats for District 1/Post 2, District 2/Post 2, and District 3/Post 2 will be on the ballot. The seats are currently held by councilmembers Carol Cookerly, Paul Moore and Rick Mohrig.

Per Georgia code, the qualifying fees should be 3 percent of annual compensation of each seat, which is $390.

The City Council approved action in December to advance plans for the city to conduct its own municipal elections, a move estimated to save it tens of thousands of dollars from costs cited by Fulton County to operate the polling.

“It’s a bargain,” Councilman Paul Moore said.

Reach Amber Perry at 770-847-8334. Follow her on Twitter @ambermarieperry