Crews build a wrought iron fence, believed to cost as much as $12,000, around a community garden in Morrow.
MORROW A wrought-iron fence erected earlier this week around a community garden in Morrow is raising questions about who actually owns the garden and how much it cost.
Clayton County officials had the fence — believed to cost between $8,000 and $12,000 — built around the garden, which is next to the Georgia Archives. The county commission approved the project a month ago. Crews from Griffin-based McIntyre Fencing built the fence Monday.
But why is the county paying for a fence to go around the city’s garden?
“They came to us and asked for it,” said Commission Chairman Jeff Turner. “Apparently there has been some food taken from the garden without permission so they wanted something to secure it.”
Morrow officials have always treated the garden as their baby that they created and have nurtured. Officials have publicly heaped praise on the city’s planning and economic development director, Michael McLaughlin, for getting the garden started.
Even Mayor Joseph “J.B.” Burke was confused about why the county was building a fence for a garden he thought the city owned. He had to question his own department heads about it.
Their response was to say it’s not their garden. Burke was told it belonged to the county’s department for elderly residents.
“Clayton County is paying because of the community garden being a part of Senior Services,” said Burke.
But the ownership of the garden is not the only part of the fence purchase that is in question. Even the price tag is uncertain.
Commissioners approved spending $8,025.28 on the fence April 2, but Burke said he “heard” the cost was around $12,000.
Turner said he wasn’t sure how much the fence cost. He said they built the fence to show support for the community garden concept.
“We — the commissioners — believe deeply in community gardens and just wanted to show our support by granting their request,” Turner said.