In early March more than 77 trees and shrubs will be planted throughout the site of the amphitheater project and the Downtown Development Authority will be selling the rights to the public to mark individual maples, birch, willows and other trees with personalized plaques in honor or memory of a loved one. Each plaque will cost $250 and the funds raised will be used to maintain the landscaping throughout downtown.
“It will go to herbicides, fertilizers and that type of stuff for all of downtown,” DDA Co-Chairman Bill Taylor said. “When they start planting things we’ll be ready to put the plaques out, but we don’t have any type of deadline for people to reserve them. It’s hopefully a way to generate cash flow for us over the next several years.”
Similar plaques have been sold for trees and benches throughout downtown in the past. To reserve a plaque, contact any DDA member or call Cindy Britt at the Village Frame and Trophy Shop at 770-456-4224.
Deputy City Manger Jeff Reese said landscaping the site will be an extensive undertaking because of the sheer volume of planting that will take place. Reese, a master gardener, and Reggie Dill, a landscape architect with the city’s project engineering contractor, MacTech, designed the landscaping scheme for the project.
“We’re trying to stay with the same types of plants we’re doing with all the landscaping downtown,” Reese said. “All of the plants are Georgia-certified nursery materials and they are all xeriscape, which means they are zero maintenance and don’t require a lot of watering.”
The sod for the project will be placed before the plant materials are put in the ground.
Overall, the project is back on schedule despite some wet weather and cold temperatures in the last few weeks and it is scheduled to be completed the first week of April with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening concert tentatively scheduled for the second Saturday in April.
The project continues this week with the laying of bricks and placement of the roofing materials on the restroom and concession facilities. Once complete, the landscaping will be put in place and the stage built.
As the project hits the home stretch, it looks as if it will easily be under its budget of $400,000 in SPLOST funds provided by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.
“Of the $400,000 that was allotted for the project, we have expended less than $200,000 of that money and we’re about $40,000 under budget so far,” Reese said, adding that the savings has been accomplished through the use of inmate labor.
Once the amphitheater is complete, the next phase of the municipal complex project will be parking. However, no date has yet been set for that to begin.