ACC Commissioners Give Unanimous OK to Hawthorne Fixes
Athens-Clarke County Commissioners voted unanimously last night to improve a package of improvements to the intersection of Oglethorpe and Hawthorne Avenues. The proposal included changes to traffic lights, restriping of the pavement, and modifications to when drivers are allowed to make left turns.
The package also contained a Commission-Defined Option introduced by District 5 Commissioner Tim Denson and District 3 Commissioner Melissa Link, which would improve pedestrian access to Bishop Park and surrounding areas on Hawthorne Avenue, at a cost of around $25,000.
“Historically, this park has had no access from the Hawthorne Avenue side,” said Link. “We only just a couple of years ago approved a gate that opens up into this muddy, culvert goat path that kind of amorphously enters the back end of the ball field.”
The only point of discussion among commissioners was the source of funding for the Commission-Defined Option, with Denson and Link's original plan calling for the use of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. After concerns were expressed by District 3 Commissioner Allison Wright, Mayor Kelly Girtz suggested that contingency funds from the government's general fund could be used, causing only a "modest" impact on current funds. With the funding source amended, the package passed 9-0.
Link and Denson’s proposal includes paving an area near an entrance to Bishop Park on the Hawthorne Avenue side and creating pathways that allow pedestrians to take a shortcut through the park when going from Sunset Avenue to Hawthorne Avenue.
During last night’s meeting, commissioners also unanimously approved minor changes to a planned mosque on Tallassee Road.