Union Park will be located on 160 acres near Mulberry Rock Road and Billy Bullock Road. The park will be funded with proceeds from a 2011 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax voters specially approved for Union Park.
The land for the park was purchased with money from a previous 1 percent sales tax, and construction will be done with funds from the 2011 tax.
Last month county commissioners voted to approve a contract for $281,300 for engineering design and architectural services for the park. Union Park will be a multi-purpose park for residents to enjoy many attractions in one location, said Michael Justus, director of parks and recreation.
During the first phase of the project the county will construct a passive park — one without sports fields.
“There is room for [playing fields] there, and the demand is not there yet,” Justus said.
At this stage there is no total cost for the project until the design is done.
“Hoping to know by this fall,” Justus said.
Construction should start by late fall when a total cost is known. Once it is started the park could be complete within nine months to a year, Justus said.
The park will be in Post 2 Commissioner Todd Pownall’s jurisdiction. Post 2 is the only one of the four commission posts not to have a multi-purpose park.
“It has been a long time coming,” Pownall said.
At the beginning, the park will not have a full-time staff until the need arises to expand. The county wants to be cost-effective, Pownall said.
Planned features are pavilions, walking trails, playgrounds and a catch-and-release lake, which will help with irrigation.
“[The lake] is pending the proper approval and permits,” Justus said.
White Oak Park is also classified as a passive park, and is one of the most used parks in the county, Pownall said.
There are 12 county-owned parks, which total more than 1,000 acres. There are no plans for more parks after Union Park, but current facilities could be expanded if the need arises.
Justus said, “I think it is important for the people to see how we are using their SPLOST dollars.”