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Statham renames park after mayor

POSTED: August 21, 2014 3:46 p.m.

The Statham City Council had a surprise up their sleeves for Mayor Robert Bridges on Tuesday night.

The park on Furr Lane in Statham is going to be named Robert Bridges Park, as per a unanimous vote by the council. Bridges had no previous awareness of this.

When the council reached the new business items on the agenda, Councilman David Huth made a motion to add an item, and the motion was passed to add the renaming of the Furr Lane park to the end of the agenda.

After attending to all other items as usual, the council came to the last, newly added item, and the motion was made by Council Member Gayle Steed to rename the park on Furr Lane to Robert Bridges Park.

“Lord have mercy,” Bridges said, quickly looking up from the agenda.

The council members laughed, and Steed said Bridges deserved recognition for all he had done in the park.

Councilman Perry Barton agreed.

“Robert created the museum there, the blacksmith shop there, the wonderful environment, the hiking trails—he very much deserves it,” Barton said.

Councilman David Huth added that the council was “very proud of that park.”

Bridges thanked the council and said it was an honor, and the motion passed unanimously to name the park Robert Bridges Park.

Bridges said after the meeting that he had been completely surprised by the council.

 “I’m not much into recognition for myself,” Bridges said. “I just do what I like to do.”

The Furr Lane park wasn’t the only one the council voted to rename at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The park on Park Street was approved to be renamed Hillman-Rainwater Park. City Administrator Steve Martin suggested that both parks be renamed at formal dedication ceremonies.

Additional items approved by the council included:

•The addition of $500 to a previously budgeted $7,000 for the purchase of a new riding mower and any combination of a push-mower, weed eater, edger and blower for the use of the prison crew when cutting the city’s grass;

•The purchase of the first of five total potential new vehicles for the city’s building department, water plant, street department and City Hall before disposing of six other surplus vehicles;

•The hiring of a new employee for the street department at a salary to be determined later; and

•A maximum of $30,000 to be spent on 600 feet of handrails ($40-45/foot) along Providence Road near the elementary school, as part of the Safe Routes to School project, though the council hopes to decrease this amount by utilizing the City’s employees and materials as much as possible, rather than those of the Department of Transportation.

Council member Betty Lyle added that there are already more than 90 vendors signed up for the Sunflower Festival, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 20., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.



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