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Jonesboro leaders weighing survey of new park

JONESBORO — Jonesboro officials are considering doing a survey of the land that some people have derisively called the “scorched Earth” of Lee Street Park.

Mayor Joy Day said Jonesboro’s City Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether or not she should be allowed to find a company to perform a survey of the park. The survey would essentially consist of determining the dimensions of the park, said Day.

“We would just like to do a survey so we will have something in writing that shows the layout of the park,” said Day.

The Council meeting is scheduled to begin Monday at 7 p.m., at the Jonesboro Police Department Headquarters at 170 South Main St. in Jonesboro. Members of the public will be able to address the Council on the matter before the vote. Day said there is no set cost associated with the survey because a company has not been selected to conduct it.

The park was referred to “scorched Earth” in some online circles back in April because of the way Clayton County officials handled the abrupt hand-over of the park to the city. County officials told Day and other city leaders in March that the county was going to transfer control of the park to Jonesboro because the service delivery strategy agreement between the county and its cities had expired.

The park was created by the city several decades ago but it had been run by the county since the 1950s.

City officials were reportedly shocked in early April to find out county employees were stripping the park of its equipment, however. Facilities were left open for anyone to walk into because county maintenance workers had removed the door locks. Coolers, refrigerators, a stove and an air conditioning unit in the park’s concession stand were also removed.

“The county took everything,” Day told the Clayton News Daily April 4. “They stripped the concession stand bare, and now groups that want to use the park to hold events may not be able to do so.”

Day accused county officials at the time of taking the equipment as retaliation for the city refusing to sign a proposed new service delivery agreement. She said some of the equipment was in dubious shape and may not have even had a long shelf life left.

Day and members of the Council have since embraced their ownership of the park. It hosted the Jonesboro’s installment of the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s “31 Days of Jazz” in May, and council members have talked about holding other events in the park.

Day said Tuesday that the city would like to eventually replace the stripped equipment. However, no formal discussions have taken place about buying new equipment, she said.