Cobb PARKS was on hand to gather community input on the planning of Mableton Town Square, a county park adjacent to Mableton Elementary School. Representatives of the Mableton Improvement Coalition and Friends of the Mable House were also there to talk to residents and answer questions.
Mableton resident and MIC member Jeff Padgett told the Courier, “This is a nice piece of property, a lot of good folks here, a lot of people walk around this community. I’d like to see to see some benches maybe here, a pavilion. I’d like to see mixed-use: restaurants downstairs, apartments upstairs. There’s a lot of different races that live around here, a lot of young folks we call millennials. This is what the future is, and this is a property for it. It’s priced right. It’s a good place for it.”
MIC Vice President Ray Thomas said, “I think it’s a tremendous effort to try to get the community’s input. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to get the community involved.”
Asked if he had personal preferences for the future design of Mableton Town Square, he said, “I really don’t at this particular point … I’m one of these guys I’ll wait until I hear what the community has to say.”
Michael Brantley, the Operations Division Manager from Cobb PARKS said, “(It’s) a fairly new property for us, for parks, and it’s already got some infrastructure here, with the nice sidewalks, and we’ve got some lights and things like that … We wanted to let people come out here and tell us exactly what they wanted. Do they want benches? Do they want a playground? Do they want a pavilion? Do they want, as one child asked us, a fish pond? And we have to take a lot of those things and look at the size that we have, we have to look at what it’s going to be ultimately in the future, and we have to put all that down and say ‘this is what we can do’. This is what would work for the community. This is all about bringing the community together. Once we get everybody’s ideas, we’ll go back, and put them on a piece of paper, and we’ll try to flesh out what we think would work, and how to ultimately make this a really nice park for the Mableton area.”
He said the range of ideas from neighbors had included the fish pond, benches, a concert bandstand, a family pavilion, and a dog park. He said a fish pond or a dog park would reduce the available space for other uses, but that his department would take all the ideas and see what would work in a park of that size.
Robin Meyer, a member of MIC’s Board of Directors said, “Well, I think first off, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It’s a sunny day in a pretty little neighborhood, and folks can walk over here from their homes … it’s kind of the essence of the community we’re talking about. It’s good to have our county government here today, the parks department who is responsible for this space, ready and eager to talk to citizens about how they’d like to see their park used in the future. I think it’s government, citizenship, and community at its very best.”
Kay Burnett, a nearby neighbor of Mableton Town Square, said, “I think we should have benches so people can sit if they’ve been walking around. I think we should have an area that dogs can run and play, a playground, and a way to protect children, though, from any possible predators.”