Henry County to repair and reopen Cochran Park

Photo of Cochran Park entrance (Henry Herald photo)

The Henry County commissioners authorized necessary stormwater repairs to repair and reopen Cochran Park in Stockbridge. The commissioners voted 4-2 (Clemmons and Holmes opposed) to approve the resolution.

County Manager Cheri Hobson-Matthews previously estimated it would cost $550,000 to repair the stormwater infrastructure. The repairs will be funded through the stormwater account.

Commissioners passed a resolution last month that, if the city of Stockbridge agreed to accept ownership of the park, the county would spend up to $550,000 to complete the stormwater repairs. Stockbridge provided a response to the county on December 12.

In Stockbridge’s response, the city requested the parties enter into an intergovernmental agreement where “the county would operate the park for a period of five years while Stockbridge establishes a recreation department with its own athletic program.” The city also asked the county to expand the scope of repairs beyond stormwater and make additional repairs during the transition period. These repairs would have included buildings, asphalt, and other items where deficiencies have been identified.

That response appeared unsatisfactory to commissioners who characterized Stockbridge as having no interest in accepting the park. Previously, the city council offered $100,000 to assist in the repairs following a joint meeting in mid-November.

The resolution to repair and reopen Cochran Park was added to the agenda at the start of this week’s meeting. The resolution makes no mention of transferring the park to Stockbridge, and instead, directs the county manager to make necessary repairs and reopen the park for youth baseball this spring.

County Commissioners voted 2-4 to deny capital improvements at Hidden Valley Park.

District V Commissioner Bruce Holmes requested an agenda item to finance capital improvements at Hidden Valley Park on Fairview Road. The improvements would have been funded through operational cost savings from the current fiscal year and were estimated to cost $394,000.

Commissioners Johnny Wilson, Gary Barham, and Vivian Thomas echoed similar comments that staff should complete a capital improvement program for all county parks and present the entire package to the board at one time. Deputy County Manager Brad Johnson shared with the board there is approximately $4.8 million dollars worth in identified capital needs at county parks.

The motion to authorize capital improvements at Hidden Valley failed 2-4. Commissioners Clemmons and Holmes voted in favor; whereas, Chair Wood, Commissioners Wilson, Barham, and Thomas voted in opposition.

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