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Bogart Council plans new park, approves budget 

by Emily Slepsky

The Bogart City Council on March 11 voted unanimously to spend $285,000 to purchase 1.5 acres for a city park at the corner of Burson Avenue and Atlanta Highway.

A playground, bathrooms, picnic tables and “possibly a pavilion” will comprise half of the lot, with the other half for parking, Mayor Janet Jones said.

“I think it will be a great, great asset to the city because now that we have the sidewalks, everybody can walk right to it,” Jones said in an interview after the meeting.

She said Bogart, which has about 1,300 residents, is seeing an influx of children in Piper Glen and newer subdivisions. The property, which is an empty lot at 116 S. Burson Ave., is located on the way to the fields at the Bogart Sports Complex.

“We have a great many people that stop to watch the trains,” she said. “They could sit over there in the shade, rather than sitting out in the sun on Main Street, where we have the benches now.”

The park will be constructed next year, she said.

Jones said the city plans to seek funds and grants from organizations and agencies, including the state’s Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Community Affairs.

City Council member David Kilpatrick said during the meeting that they have contacted UGA’s College of Environment and Design to develop a landscape outline for the park.

The city closed on the purchase of the land on March 13, the mayor confirmed after the meeting.

The council also unanimously voted to approve the city’s fiscal year 2025 budget of $986,510. The budget is a 27.6% increase from $772,914 in 2023, with the biggest jump for repairs and maintenance.

The 2025 budget for repairs and maintenance is $118,000, up from $42,500 in 2024 and $29,807 in 2023. Jones explained after the meeting that the city plans to use some of the money to purchase a new garbage truck.

“That’s one reason why we’ve gone into a moratorium on building; we were having to build up our infrastructure with these subdivisions coming in,” she said. “We just had one trash truck, and that’s one of the services that we offer as a municipality. And it was going to be taking four days out of a five-day week.”

She said other maintenance costs relate to the city’s drainage ditches.

“That’s our big push this year is to get all of that done and not have to hire Oconee County workers to come over here and do it for us,” she said. “We can do most everything in-house.”

The 2025 budget increased by 7.6% from $916,710 in 2024. The city’s fiscal year runs April 1-March 31.

The council also approved purchasing a golf cart for the city. The offered price for the 2019 golf cart is $1,000 below its standard retail price, Kilpatrick said.

The golf cart will hold up to 400 pounds, which will assist in shuttling people to and from events in Bogart. Large items also can be transported from vendors’ trailers during festivals, City Council member Greg Maddox said.

This story was written by the Cox Institute’s Journalism Writing Lab at the University of Georgia for The Oconee Enterprise.

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