Board of Commissioners split in first formal vote over Cochran Park closure and repairs

Concept site plan for Cochran Park conversion to passive space (county photo)

After months of back-and-forth discussion about Cochran Park in Stockbridge, the Henry County Board of Commissioners took their first vote on the proposal to remove the baseball fields and convert the park into passive space. The agenda item to consider approving a conceptual site plan to convert the park was added by Commissioner Holmes at the beginning of this week’s meeting.

Commissioners voted 3-3 on the proposed site plan. Commissioners Clemmons, Thomas, and Holmes voted in favor of the conceptual site plan; whereas Chair Wood, Commissioners Wilson, and Barham voted against the site plan.

The master plan is estimated to cost $650,000 to implement. The plan includes the removal of the historic baseball fields and the addition of two pavilions, trails, and a parking lot. Making necessary repairs to continue using the park for youth baseball was estimated at $750,000 by county staff.

Commissioner Gary Barham mentioned he recently visited the park and commented the ball fields are in good shape. He added the county’s recent study did not evaluate the condition of the pipes, only calculate a cost to replace all of them.

Chair June Wood commented she would like to see a comprehensive cost analysis to reopen the park for use with youth baseball fields and consider adding a trail around the ball fields if possible.

Public comment at board meetings and news coverage about the closure has favored reopening the park for youth baseball. Most recently, local ball coaches contend the park can be repaired.

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