Proposed county park named Rocky Face Ridge Park

Whitfield County's next park now has a name.

The Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Monday to officially name 1,000 acres of county-owned property on and adjacent to Rocky Face Ridge, including Grant Farm, as Rocky Face Ridge Park.

The ridge is the site of numerous Civil War fortifications, and Grant Farm, at the foot of the ridge on Crow Valley Road. It was the site of two Civil War skirmishes and was also the site of Confederate encampments when the Confederate Army spent the winter of 1863-64 in Dalton following the Battle of Chattanooga.

While the park has a name, it doesn't have an opening date yet.

"I wish I could tell you," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Brian Chastain. "There's still a lot of work to be done, and when you are working with all of these grants, there's a lot of paperwork and planning that has to be done before you can do the work."

The county has received a $313,000 grant from the state rural trails program to build mountain bike trails around the ridge. And it has received a $77,000 grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to help build a parking lot, pavilion and restrooms at the Grant Farm at the foot of the ridge.

The county is looking at another $837,109 for additional work such as repairing a lake on the site for fishing, brush clearing, additional restrooms and a walking trail from a possible 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Commissioners also voted 4-0 to:

• Approve a non-exporting generation application with Georgia Power for the new fire station that is being built on Riverbend Road on the south end of the county. Fire Chief Edward O'Brien says this is needed because the fire department will install an emergency generator in the station.

"Georgia Power will serve that station," he said. "This is just assuring them that we know their requirements and will maintain then and that we are not going to be producing power and trying to get money back from them. It's a routine thing."

Chairman Lynn Laughter typically votes only in the event of a tie.

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