The old adage "good things come to those who wait" turned out to be true for Hall County as government officials waited for nearly a year to get the news about their grant application for Butler Park on Athens Street.
The news went out first in a Dec. 30, 2019 press release from the National Parks Service, but it wasn't until several days later county officials received confirmation that their grant application had been approved in the amount of $633,231.
District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe had asked his fellow commissioners almost three months ago to draft a letter to federal officials to see if the county could go ahead and use local money to begin work on the 13-acre site donated by Fieldale Farms. Constituents in the area had grown frustrated waiting on construction to begin, and Stowe said he had, as well. The letter went in the mail in October, according to Stowe.
"We actually did, within about two weeks, get a letter back that if we started the process that we would be withdrawn from the grant [application pool], so we chose to wait to hear about the grant," Stowe said.
Hall County was the only Georgia applicant to receive funding through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program.
Stowe said residents in the area won't see work begin right away. The county, with help from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, must submit a final application to the National Park Service.
"There's a laundry list of things that the state and the federal government will send to us to check off in order to begin the next step, so even though we got great news that we've been approved for the grant, it'll probably be a couple of months before we can actually...see some movement out at the park," Stowe said.