Coweta Recreation Dept. could take over Wesley Street Gym operations

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com Coweta County is interested in taking over maintenance and operations of the Wesley Street Gym. The Coweta County Recreation Department already has responsibility for Pickett Field, Willie Lynch Park and the new swimming pool.
Commissioner Al Smith brought up the issue during a discussion of Newnan's request for assistance with some work at Pickett Field. A drain pipe under the field needs to be replaced, and the city had asked if county equipment could be used, said County Administrator Theron Gay. "They are willing to cover all the materials but asked if the county would assist them," Gay said. Smith said that with the addition of the new pool, "the whole area looks like it is in great shape." Except for the gym. "They gym is dilapidated. I see it as a historic structure," Smith said. The gym was built in the 1930s under a New Deal program. Gay said the county had made a similar request to the city of Newnan once before. "It has been quite a long time. And they were not willing to consider it at that time." The gym is structurally sound but "it's not on par with the other facilities that the county maintains," Smith said. The vote to make the request was unanimous. In other meeting business: * The board voted to purchase five sand/salt spreaders for the road department. Four will be mounted on dump trucks, while the fifth will be for a pickup. In early January, when the ice and snow hit Coweta, "we had such a heck of a time" getting county roads taken care of, Gay said. "We had to rent farm equipment and everything else to try to spread this stuff. It was a nightmare." The spreaders will also come in handy in other applications, such as building roads, Gay said. "So it will have more uses than just during bad weather events." * The board voted to move forward with negotiating "scope and pricing" with Clough Harbour Associates for engineering services for the first phase of the new interchange at Poplar Road and Interstate 85. Clough Harbor was the top company chosen through a "request for qualifications" process. Commission Chairman Paul Poole and Commissioner Rodney Brooks served on the selection committee, along with Transportation Planner Tavores Edwards, Assistant Director of Engineering Todd Handley, and Finance Director Hands Wilson. "My only issue with Clough Harbour is, hopefully, we can get a good price," said Brooks. The bulk of the money for the first phase of the interchange project will come from impact fees, said Gay. * The board recognized the Coweta County employees' Relay for Life Team. This is the third year in a row that the Coweta team was the top fund-raiser for the Relay for Life, an annual benefit for the American Cancer Society, Gay said. "Believe it or not, in these difficult times, they raised over $15,000," said Poole. "It's unbelievable what y'all have done... y'all really do a super job." * The board recognized Coweta County 911 for winning a state-wide award for Special Olympics volunteers. "We were nominated with I don't know how many agencies, so we are very proud of that," said 911 Director Arlene Whisenhunt. They're also very happy to be associated with the Special Olympics. "I think we might enjoy it more than they do," Whisenhunt said of the athletes.


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