Community Development Director Billy Peppers said the approximate cost of the project will be between $500,000 and $520,000, based on plans submitted by Scott Gordon, principal of business development with BRPH Architects & Engineers of Marietta.
City Manager Jeff Moon told DDA members the city has $231,739.28 that will go toward the project for demolition and restructuring of restrooms.
Board members noted the owners of the Visitors Center’s current building, the Dean family, are requesting to have the space back but did not disclose a timeline for the family’s requests.
As part of the project, Moon also requested the council move forward with plans to improve Arnold Mill Road and the left turn from Towne Lake Parkway onto Main Street, as the architect requested to move forward with plans.
Peppers also discussed a 10-year, tax-free loan provided by Ameris Bank with a fixed rate of 3 percent to finance the project. The city will request anywhere from $250,000 to $350,000, depending on final costs.
Kyle Bennett, director of tourism and visitors center operations, reported 914 visitors came to the Visitors Center in July, the second-highest number for that month in the city’s history, and 614 in August, the most ever to visit during that month.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a movie series with Southern Outdoor Cinemas at no cost to the DDA that will provide three movies in the park. The dates will be Oct. 20, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1.
The board also unanimously agreed to move forward with drainage issues at Magnolia Thomas Restaurant.
Peppers said he is working with the Public Works Department to develop a cost estimate and timeline to address the issue.