The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority held a public meeting on May 5, at Gap Park, the new home of the Farmers Market, and talked about the delay in the renovations at Bradwell Park.
Zum Rosenhoff Restaurant owner Anka Hinze asked for an update on the project which was supposed to start in March.
HDDA Director Michelle Ricketson said the job was sent out for new bids after City Engineers determined they preferred a specific material be used for the job. Ricketson explained that City engineers were in the process of reviewing the first set of bids and reviewing the material list submitted. She said City Engineers had a preference for the type of material they preferred but thought it would be out of their budget. After reviewing the bids they realized it was within their proposed budget and opted to request new bids specifying the materials they preferred.
The engineers opted to request new proposals to level the playing field to all who bid.
“They wanted to make sure everything would be consistent and they wanted to make sure the minority bid process were met as well,” Ricketson said.
She said the new bids are due soon. Once City Engineers review the bids the top candidates would then be brought as an action item before Hinesville’s City Council. Once the Council and Mayor award the bid the contractor can start the permitting process.
“Hopefully they should start by July and then it will be a six month process,” Ricketson said adding the park should be complete the first part of 2022.
Ricketson said there was a slight change to the plans as well after they discovered they needed to add a restroom to the park design. Ricketson said it was a requirement since they planned on having the interactive water display for children.
“That meets the requirement from the Health Department,” Ricketson said.
The group discussed moving forward with the “Let Freedom Ring,” crosswalk designs as designed in the HDDA’s strategic plan done with the guidance of the Carl Vinson Institute.
Ricketson said they’ve found other locations that did a similar project and have reached out to an artist to discuss the plans.
The local business owners in attendance mentioned the possibility of hosting an event like a Sip and Shop but weren’t sure if they required a special permit from the City for the alcohol.
Hinze asked if the City would consider an ordinance allowing customers in the downtown area to openly carry alcoholic beverages, like beer and wine, so that folks can have their drinks in hand as they window shopped from store to store.
“And people may want to just sit in the park and have a wine cooler or beer,” she said.
Ricketson talked about the rich history in the HDDA district and informed the attendees that there are 12 historical markers in the downtown district and 24 buildings that are 100 years old or older. She said they held a ribbon cutting at the old jail at the beginning of the month recognizing the completion of the installation of the wrought iron fencing surrounding the historic facility.
As the meeting adjourned the HDDA bid a fond goodbye to Jeffrey Porter who recently resigned as HDDA’s Main Street, Events, & Farmers Market Manager. His last day was this past Thursday.