Senoia council approves $7,000 for larger trees at new library

By W. WINSTON SKINNER The Senoia City Council voted Monday to spend about $7,000 for additional landscaping at the new library in the east Coweta city. The council also agreed to have engineering done to transform a trail at the library into a two-lane road. Both decisions came during a council session in the Senoia Magistrate Court on Monday evening.
"In the drive/parking lot alongside the library, you see six willow oaks that were planted," City Administrator Richard Ferry said. He explained the willow oaks were three inches in diameter -- the size originally proposed when the landscaping was planned. That size tree, however, did not meet the city's landscape ordinance, so the plan was changed by the Senoia Planning Commission to require 6-inch trees. When the project was prepared for bidding, however, "this change did not make the bid documents," Ferry said. Ferry recommended the trees that are already planted be left but that trees still to be planted at the entrance to the facility and in the parking lot have diameters of six inches. Cost for planting the larger trees would be $7,712.25. "We would have paid for these trees in the original bid -- if they had made the original bid documents," Ferry noted. If the city decided to remove the smaller trees, there would be costs associated with removing them. Plus, the smaller willow oaks do not "fit into our future plan," Ferry said. While there is a possibility the smaller trees might fit with the landscaping at the planned Events Lawn or some other city project, plans for those facilities are not yet determined. "I don't see a problem with making the change," Councilman Larry Owens said. Councilman Bobby Graham noted the money for the work will come from library impact fees --from "money we would have to spend on the library anyway." Ferry noted there is a 10-foot wide multi-use trail that ends at the library. He suggested "we improve this exit into an actual two-lane road." The question of whether the town has "enough money in impact fees to cover it can't be answered until we do the engineering on it," Ferry said. He said an actual road would facilitate safe, two-way traffic from the library through the adjoining park. The road would run from the library to Pylant Street. Mayor Robert Belisle recommended the engineering work be done "so we can make a better decision." "I agree with the mayor," Owens said. Having the engineering work done was unanimously approved.

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