LAWRENCEVILLE -- Artificial turf will be laid at a county park and Gwinnett's famous water towers will come down, according to contracts approved by commissioners Tuesday.
Both decisions were made to try to cut down on annual maintenance costs.
While the turf will cost $835,000 initially, Community Services Director Phil Hoskins said the annual expenses to mow, re-sod and care for the football field at Gwinnett's popular Duncan Creek Park in Dacula will go down.
It will also allow for greater usage of the field for football, lacrosse and soccer, he said.
"I think it's a great way where people can say government is using their money efficiently," said Commissioner Kevin Kenerly, who proposed the pilot project.
He pointed out the funds are coming from the county's penny sales tax program instead of property taxes, which would normally fund maintenance.
"It's not a burden on the Gwinnett County taxpayers," he said. "That's what the voters voted for."
Because of new technology and infrastructure, the famed water towers that line Interstate 85, proclaiming "Gwinnett is Great" and "Success Lives Here," are no longer necessary to maintain water pressure, officials said.
But paint and other maintenance costs are high, leading to the decision to dismantle the towers.
"All of us hate to tear those twin towers down because it does represent Gwinnett," Commissioner Shirley Lasseter said.
"It's an expense we no longer need to endure," added Chairman Charles Bannister. "You hate to see them go, but it is progress. It will change the landscape."
As part of a $149,000 contract to demolish a total of seven water towers and booster stations, the I-85 towers are expected to be dismantled in the fall.