West Hill Cemetery stormwater control project almost complete

May 17—Stormwater improvements in West Hill Cemetery are about 90% finished and the project should be completed by the end of this month, according to Dalton City Administrator Andrew Parker.

Parker updated City Council members on that and other projects during a recent meeting of the city Finance Committee. The committee is composed of City Council members.

The West Hill Cemetery project involves what is called regenerative stormwater conveyance. Channels containing a series of rocky dams were built, creating a cascading series of pools that slow down stormwater flow as it moves through the cemetery and detains water before it leaves the cemetery.

The West Hill Cemetery project is the first of a three-phase plan to improve stormwater control on what is called the Walnut North Basin. The planned improvements will eventually reach Walnut Avenue.

Parker said homeowners downstream from the cemetery are already reporting "an unbelievable" reduction of stormwater rushing across their yards.

Parker said contractors have not yet begun work on the Mill Creek Greenway but still say they expect to meet the Dec. 1 completion date. The City Council in January approved a $2.234 million contract with Northwest Georgia Paving of Calhoun for the project.

The trail will be about 1.1 miles from Eagle Walk trail to the trail around Haig Mill Lake Park. There will also be a half-mile spur to Mallard Road.

The Eagle Walk at Mill Creek, a half-mile walking and biking trail just off Chattanooga Avenue that runs parallel to Mill Creek, was constructed as an Eagle Scout project about nine years ago.

Parker said the turf replacement for the soccer fields at Lakeshore Park and at the Ron Nix Soccer Complex at James Brown Park is complete. He said bids have been received for the resurfacing of the track at Lakeshore Park and are being reviewed by staff. He reported new playgrounds have been installed at Dalton Green and Joan Lewis Park and installation of a new playground at Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park should start in June.

He said the final architectural plan for the renovation of the John Davis Recreation Center at James Brown Park should be completed by the end of June. Construction is expected to take 12 months.

The renovation will be paid for from the 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Plans call for a complete renovation of the 1986 portion of the building, which includes all of the administrative offices and the conference and assembly space upstairs. In addition, plans call for a new gym where the current gym is as well as a new entrance and lobby, a new locker room for lifeguards at the outdoor pool and renovation of the pool equipment area.

The City Council members approved a $5 million contract with Felker Construction of Dalton to serve as contractor-at-risk for the renovation in September 2022. A contractor-at-risk agrees to deliver a project at a maximum price. The contract includes all of the contractor's overhead, profit and fees, as well as the building construction, design fees, project furnishings, site work and any contingencies.

The rec center was built in three stages. The original section was built in 1957. In 1963 the building was expanded with a gym and additional office space. In 1986 the city added more office space and programming areas.