CARL - Carl might join ranks with Atlanta, Duluth, Suwanee and the Mall of Georgia if City Council members vote to install an interactive water fountain in Carl Park.
The proposed fountain, and Carl's newly built gazebo, are part of the city's rush to spend its $146,758.53 from the one-cent sales tax fund. That money has accumulated since 2001 and will revert back to Barrow County if not spent by Dec. 31, according to Carl Mayor David Brock and Beverly Dunbar, Barrow County's accountant.
"It is recreational SPLOST money and that park is all we really have to spend it on," Brock said of the city that spans a one-mile radius.
City Council members are expected to vote in the Aug. 16 meeting whether to move forward with fountain construction.
Local residents like the idea of an interactive fountain in Carl Park.
"We would absolutely use an interactive fountain," said Beth McDowell, who has brought her two children to Carl Park for four years. "We love this park. We live next door to Mulberry, but we like this park better because it is smaller and easier to maintain the kids."
In 2002, Duluth paid $194,422.50 to construct its interactive fountain downtown. Suwanee spent $608,000 to install its interactive fountain in Town Center Park in 2006.
New gazebo in Carl
Workers with A New Creation Landscapers recently completed a 20 foot by 28 foot gazebo on park grounds at a cost of $51,600.
"The landscape company is the same guy who maintains the park," Brock said.
The bid submitted by A New Creation fell in the middle of the price range. Creative Outdoors submitted a bid of $46,800 to complete the gazebo. According to minutes from the June 21 City Council meeting, council members said A New Creation offered more for the money.
The gazebo is constructed of low-maintenance white vinyl with stainless steel hardware on a concrete slab.
"It comes with a fan and a light but no benches," Brock said. "For that price, we should have gotten benches. We will have to rebid the benches."
Even without benches, McDowell's children found a use for the gazebo.
"The kids just ran around in circles inside it," McDowell said.
Brock plans to continue expanding Carl's recreational facilities.
"I am going to push for land acquisitions and ball fields," Brock said. "The park used to be a ball field. If we weren't in such a water crunch, we would put in an irrigation system."