Hogansville, county disagree on park plan

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

HOGANSVILLE –  During Monday night’s Hogansville City Council meeting, City Manager David Milliron informed the council that Troup County will not fund the costs of maintenance and operation for Lake Jimmy Jackson and the surrounding park when the park opens to the public. 

Milliron said that County Manager Eric Mosley recently told him that the City of Hogansville should plan to fund expenses of the soon-to-be-opened park without assistance from the county. 

Milliron said Hogansville has been in conversations with Troup County since October of last year related to Lake Jimmy Jackson and the coinciding park, and Hogansville’s understanding was that the county would assume responsibility for the management and operations of the park when it opened. 

“[On Friday] the communication persisted to the point where [I was told] it’s not the will of the county commissioners to be responsible for that, the city [of Hogansville] should plan in its budget to fund the maintenance of that park and operation of that park from July 1 onward,” Milliron said. “I find that interesting because the county has reviewed the rules for the park, has attended the groundbreaking, has even had cooperative discussion on getting the lake stocked and testing the water. Where it stands now is the county manager suggested we go and sit down with the county commission chairman (Patrick Crews).” 

Mosley, when reached for comment on Tuesday, said no official request has been made by City of Hogansville since he became county manager in November.  

“There have really never been discussions with the county since I have been on board about us managing that facility,” Mosley said.  “We’ve never formally discussed that. We have not budgeted that expense in the FY20 budget.” 

Mosley said that under the current Service Delivery Strategy between the county and the three Troup County cities, the proper channel to bring that request through would be the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I don’t know if the Lake Jimmy Jackson project has even come before them at all. I don’t even know if they know it exists,” Mosely said. 

Hogansville’s representative on the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission, per the parks and rec website, is Willie Ector. Per Mosley, the current SDS agreement dictates it would be the city’s representative’s responsibility to bring forward this request. Milliron confirmed the city has not brought the request to the Recreation Commission to this point, adding the City of Hogansville has not been directed to approach the Recreation Commission by the county in their past discussions. Milliron also said the current SDS is not currently being adhered to and asserted the county is picking and choosing when to follow the SDS and when not to. 

“The county manager knows we’ve had multiple conversations about this park and multiple dialogues about operations, and he has never in any of those conversations said, ‘hey why don’t you come over to the Recreation board and pitch it to them?’” Milliron said on Tuesday. “You can’t pick and choose, you either adhere to the [SDS] agreement or you don’t. I know they haven’t been adhering to that agreement with respect to LaGrange, Hogansville or West Point.”

Milliron said he will make a presentation to the Recreation Commission if need be and added Lake Jimmy Jackson will open soon, regardless of county assistance. 

“I thought we had an agreement with Eric previously. Obviously, we don’t, but if he wants me to go present to the Rec board, which has never occurred as long as I’ve been here, then I’ll be on their next agenda,” Milliron said. “We will certainly open the park, and we [Hogansville] will find funding to maintain it.”