Kennesaw Council approves property condemnations to clear path for Ben King Road project

Screenshot of Kennesaw City Council zoom meetingScreenshot of Kennesaw City Council zoom meeting

The Kennesaw City Council approved staff’s requests Monday to use the condemnation process in order to move forward on the Ben King Road improvement plan.

The $3 million Ben King Road project is funded by the 2016 special purpose local options sales tax. The intent is to reduce congestion and improve safety conditions between Cherokee Street and McCollum Parkway. According to city officials, land agents have been unable to acquire the rights of way and temporary and permanent easements for construction from the property owners. The four affected properties are located at 1895 Ben King Rd., 2150 Towne Manor Dr., 3196 Paradise Ln. and 1532 Ben King Rd.

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According to Ricky Stewart, public works director for Kennesaw, the project is expected to be complete by the middle of 2023.

In other business:

  • Council approved the abandonment of municipal right of way for sections of Poplar Drive, Russell Drive, Grant Drive and Rockspring Drive. Sanctuary Development will take over the right of way for those streets as part of the 55-acre Eastpark Village mixed-use development. In exchange, the city will receive the rights of way needed along Cherokee Street to proceed with improvements on the Cherokee Street corridor.
  • A budget amendment was approved in the amount of $9,560 for a field boundary survey of Kennesaw City Cemetery property. The survey was not included in the original budget, but it is needed by the Cemetery Preservation Commission and the Cemetery Foundation to assist with submitting Kennesaw’s cemetery to the National Register of Historic Places. The funds will be transferred from the use of prior year reserves revenue account to the other professional services expenditure account.
  • The Big Shanty Festival will take place from April 16 at 6 p.m. until April 18 at 8 p.m. During that time the following roads will be closed: J.O. Stephenson Avenue, between Main Street and Dallas Street, Cherokee Street, between Main Street and Shirley Drive/Big Shanty Drive, Watts Drive, from Dallas Street to Main Street, and Lewis Street, from Dallas Street to Main Street. On Saturday morning at 6 a.m., Main Street, from Summer Street to Moon Station Road, will also close.
  • The $144,000 upgrade for the 911 system was approved due to the age of the system. The cost was included in the city budget.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.