Fayetteville to buy land for Hwy. 54 pedestrian bridge at hospital

Artist's conception of the pedestrian bridge across Ga. Highway 54 near Piedmont Fayette Hospital. File photo.
Artist's conception of the pedestrian bridge across Ga. Highway 54 near Piedmont Fayette Hospital. File photo.

The July 2 meeting of the Fayetteville City Council will include a mix of items such as the FY 2021 budget presentation and a move to acquire a small section of property for the upcoming pedestrian bridge and multi-use path along Ga. Highway 54 West.

The first reading of the FY 2021 General Fund budget shows a decrease of $620,706 in revenues, placing the budget at $16.966 million, down from the current $17.587 million.

Local taxes, and specifically sales taxes, account for the largest drop in revenues, with the city expecting to receive $13.826 million during the coming fiscal year compared to $14.168 million this year, and representing a decrease of $342,343.

Among the adjustments being made, City Manager Ray Gibson said no jobs are planned to be cut, though a number of vacant positions will be frozen for the time being.

The second reading and budget adoption will come at the July 16 meeting.

The council on Thursday is also expected to act on an eminent domain issue dealing with a section of property along Hwy. 54 West where the multi-use path will cross.

The reality is that, while technically eminent domain, the property owner is in support of the measure, said Downtown Development Director Brian Wismer.

The city previously asked Chicago-based Fayetteville 54 Medical Properties, located at Hwy. 54 West and Togwatee Village Parkway, for the ability to purchase two parcels – one at .29 acres, with an additional .111 acres of temporary construction easement, for a price of $117,600.

The owner responded, asking $128,500 which also included three additional remnant parcels, to which the city agreed.

The city noted that several months had passed without a successful closing, thus necessitating the action to take the two parcels for use as right-of-way and temporary construction easement.

The condemnation deals only with the $117,600, even though the city will purchase the three remnant parcels in a separate agreement which will bring the total to the $128,500 amount.

Wismer said the impasse came down to dealing with the legal bureaucracy, even though the owner saw the project as an asset and supported the sale.

All other properties needed for the project have been acquired.

The pedestrian bridge will span Hwy. 54 West, and will be located between Togwatee Village Parkway and Veterans Parkway.

With the contract expected to be awarded in the fall, the pedestrian bridge will connect to a path on the north side linking to the Piedmont Fayette Hospital parking area.

On the south side, the 12-foot path will flow east, then south past the Togwatee retail area where it will connect with Lester Road.