GAINESVILLE-HALL COUNTY, Ga. (May 19, 2023) – Gainesville-Hall County has 4 million-plus reasons to continue progress on proposed neighborhood projects thanks to the State of Georgia.
Awarded a combined $4.4 million, the City of Gainesville and Hall County Government were among 100-plus grantees identified by Gov. Brian Kemp receiving funding for projects “improv[ing] neighborhood assets like parks, recreation facilities, sidewalks and healthy food access in communities all across the state disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release issued Thursday, May 18, by Kemp’s office.
In total, the 142 qualified projects belonging to eligible nonprofits and governments across Georgia were awarded more than $225 million – funds that will be used to improve, maintain or repair recreational and public facilities that saw significantly greater use during the pandemic.
Gainesville – Athens Street Corridor Master Plan
The City of Gainesville was awarded $2.2 million for a 10-foot multi-use trail to replace narrow sidewalks along Athens Street near Ridge Road, a future benefit to the safety and wellbeing of pedestrians.
“We appreciate Gov. Brian Kemp for thinking of the City of Gainesville and realizing the positive impact these valuable dollars will have on those who call this community home,” said Gainesville Mayor Sam Couvillon. “We also extend thanks to Rep. Matt Dubnik, Sen. Shelly Echols and Rep. Lee Hawkins for their continued support of Gainesville-Hall County, and for looking out for the people of Northeast Georgia.”
In addition to the trail, plans also call for a planted buffer along the road with a curb and gutter, and the addition of street trees to define and beautify the area. The City hopes to implement this project over the next three to five years.
“This grant is proof of the City of Gainesville’s commitment to the implementation of the Athens Street Corridor Master Plan,” said Gainesville Ward 3 Councilwoman Barbara B. Brooks. “The City’s ability to move forward on projects that promise such a positive impact on the neighborhood by enhancing walkability brings us closer to restoring Athens Street to the vibrant and thriving corridor it once was.”
In 2021, the City launched the visioning process for the Athens Street/Highway 129 South Corridor Master Plan, focused on the Athens Street corridor from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Highway 129 South, and the E.E. Butler Parkway/Highway 129 South corridor from E.E. Butler Parkway/Jesse Jewell Parkway through Highway 129 South/Morgan Drive. Those interested in reviewing the plan in depth may do so by clicking here.
Hall County – Athens Street connector + Butler Park improvements
Hall County Government was awarded $2.2 million to improve sidewalks, amenities, and lighting in and around Butler Park.
“It’s been a priority for us since the pandemic first hit to provide funding for those who were hit the hardest, and our staff has done a great job securing state and federal funding to ensure Hall County can give attention to the areas in our community that need it most,” said Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Higgins.
Hall County will invest the funds to bring additional amenities to the Athens Street campus and increase connectivity, walkability and accessibility to Butler Park. Plans for the campus include the installation of a concrete walking trail around Butler Park with lighting on the trail for safety.
“There are a lot of really engaged and really enthusiastic citizens in the community surrounding Butler Park, and we’re grateful for this funding for a community that wants and truly deserves it,” said Hall County District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe. “We’ve made a lot of progress developing the Butler Park campus, and we’re excited for the additional improvements we’ll be able to make with these funds, ensuring citizens in the area can access and utilize all that’s available in and around Butler Park.”
Those interested in reviewing Kemp’s full press release may do so by clicking here.