Stone Mountain residents pitch city on parks improvements

City of Stone Mountain seal on the historic railroad depot. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA — The results are in for a public survey of Stone Mountain residents on improvements for the city’s four parks.

Residents ranked the top five improvements needed at each park. 

“It is our goal to have council review what has been submitted and to see if we can get at least the first three items on each list,” City Councilmember Gina Cox said at Tuesday’s council work session. 

At McCurdy Park, residents favored repairing and improving the buildings and restrooms, replacing the children’s play area that was destroyed, addressing safety issues involving the creek and children, replacing the wood stairs from the parking lot with concrete stairs and more parking. 

At Randolph Medlock Park, they want the parking lot improved, the restrooms improved, children’s play equipment added, the picnic shelter repaired and improved, better security and cameras, and the concession stand repaired and improved. 

At Leila Mason Park, residents want the bathrooms renovated, a walking trail around the perimeter, seating at the playground, more equipment for children, and the picnic pavilion improved.

At VFW Park, they favored installing a walking track, making the restrooms ADA compliant, adding parking, adding a children’s play area and equipment, and adding barbecue grills. 

The council needs to come up with a plan with a cost estimate for the full scope of the project next, according to City Manager ChaQuias Miller-Thornton.

“We can say we want a walking track, but what does that track look like?” she said.

In other news from Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to appoint attorney Kristal Holmes as city solicitor. Holmes replaces Ottanya Clark, who recently resigned. 

The council voted unanimously to approve a contract with Atlanta Soundworks to upgrade the city’s streaming video system. 

The council’s 2021 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is developing a public portal and survey for residents to weigh in with their priorities. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs requires cities to complete such plans every five years. 

“I think the planned portal is going to be a great asset in getting the information out to the public in putting together a plan,” Miller-Thornton said.

A virtual public event about the Comprehensive Plan is in the works for June.

The Stone Mountain Police Department reported 178 calls in March, with 22 arrests, 169 citations, 71 warning citations and no DUIs or violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act. The arrests, warnings, DUIs and drug violations are consistent with February, but calls jumped 23 percent and citations increased by 62 percent. 

There was one homicide in March, two aggravated assaults, 10 simple assault/battery, one burglary without forced entry, 10 other larcenies and two motor vehicle thefts. No rapes, attempted rapes, robberies, burglaries with forced entry, or attempted burglaries were reported.

The 2021 season of the city’s farmer’s market will begin on June 8 and run until Aug. 31. The city has 12 vendors so far, four of whom are new this year.

And about 400 people came out for the Village Cruisers Car Show on Saturday, according to Tourism Manager Kim Cumbie. 

“It was a really beautiful day for a car show,” she said. “We had a lot of people come out. It was a lot of fun.”

Mayor Patricia Wheeler also presented the Village Cruisers with an award.