Brief Acworth City Council meeting includes updates on city projects

Acworth City Hall in article about Baker Road annexationAcworth City Hall sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Thursday evening’s Acworth City Council and Board of Aldermen meeting was a very brief one in which board members provided updates on city projects.

City Manager Brian Bulthuis thanked the council for passing the city’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

The budget, set to start Wednesday, July 1, increases the budget for Acworth while also freezing hiring, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Police Chair Tim Richardson told the council to keep Acworth Police Department Captain Stanley Melton in their thoughts and prayers as he recovers from surgery at Kennestone Hospital.

Richardson continued to provide updates on APD, saying that the community has shown much support for APD and “we are grateful for the trust and partnership that has been built which sustains the department through this difficult time.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, summer programs in Acworth are beginning within the month.

North Cobb High School will start its summer football practices and work with APD community affairs liaison Officer Stanley Almon. Almon has worked with the Power of Peace Project in the past, Richardson said.

The Power of Peace Project is a 501c3 organization that works with incarcerated people, sports teams, schools and others to promote nonviolence.

Parks and Recreation Chair Gene Pugliese said that the drive-in movie scheduled for Friday, June 26, has completely filled up with participants within 12 hours of the registration opening.

Additionally, Acworth Youth Football and Cheerleading Registration will be opening registration online Saturday, June 20. There are also plans to honor the Fourth of July downtown.

“In an effort to create a patriotic feeling downtown during the Fourth of July holiday, staff and the Downtown Development Authority are working with the merchants to paint the downtown red, white and blue,” Pugliese said.

Pugliese continued, saying all six sports camps are currently at capacity and that roofing improvements in APD headquarters and the Hill Park Project are out for bid.

“The Hill Park Project will serve as an outdoor interpretive history area that honors our rich African American history in the community,” Parks and Recreation Director James Albright said after the meeting. “The park is named after Doyal Hill who was the first African American to serve on the Board of Aldermen. We completed the planning and design for the park earlier this year…The park will feature public art, interpretative signage, and a plaza.”

Hill Park is to be located next to the Rosenwald School that is on Cherokee Street.

Assistant Recreation Coordinator Bailey Arnaud was congratulated for her new role teaching at North Cobb High School. Pugliese said Arnaud made a meaningful impact during her time as coordinator and a get together in her honor is scheduled for next week.

Community Development Chair Brett North said that the new Dairy Queen to come to Acworth is currently under review for permitting.

The Dairy Queen would be on Cowan Road, next to the Super 8 Motel.

Missing from Thursday’s meeting was Mayor Tommy Allegood.

Allegood was at a virtual town hall with other mayors from Cobb County cities. The meeting was about the special-purpose local-option sales tax and what each mayor plans to use SPLOST for.

With the six-year SPLOST, public facilities are able to be paid for. Albright said that the Acworth Community Center was built with money from SPLOST.

“About 71% of our projects are infrastructure improvements, like repaving, sidewalk repairs,” Albright said. “We have funding for some improvements at Cauble Park, the park system, Overlook Park and trail system improvements. There’s also funding in there for public safety improvements.

Albright said SPLOST funding does not go toward paying staff, but focuses on capital expenditures. If voters approve of SPLOST funding, money will be put towards items previously mentioned.

Arielle Robinson is a student at Kennesaw State University. She also freelances for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and is the former president of KSU’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a former CNN intern. She enjoys music, reading, and live shows.