SPRINGFIELD — A new housing development received the go-ahead from the Springfield City Council during a special called meeting Aug. 6.
The council unanimously OK’d a site plan for Ebenezer Creek Crossing, located off McCall Road near Ga. Hwy 21. The development on a 16.75-acre tract will feature 54 units that will range from one to three bedrooms. There will be eight one- or two-story structures on the site, including a “community building.” Amenities will include a “community garden.”
Access will be restricted to a single entrance on McCall Road. Each unit will be allotted two parking spaces.
Water and sewer lines for the site will be paid for by the developer.
The second item on the agenda — an employment agreement with new City Manager Matt Morris — also received unanimous approval. Before voting on the matter, the council briefly discussed the protocol for Morris to take days off.
It was decided that Morris should inform Mayor Bart Alderman about days that he doesn’t intend to work.
The meeting’s final agenda item was the Ash Street Drainage Project. The project involves a pond on a piece of South Cedar Street property that the City of Springfield purchased in 2017.
“There are a lot of things to consider with this one,” Alderman said while opening the discussion. “We know it started off as an effort to solve a storm water drainage issue.”
It was proposed earlier that ditches entering the city property be cleared and that the pond dam be removed and a spillway added to allow storm water from Ash Street and Second Avenue to flow toward Ebenezer Creek. Excess rainfall currently backs up into a South Cedar Drive resident’s yard.
“As important as the storm water project is what we do with the property itself,” Alderman said. “The storm water project is already in the works. Do we turn this into a city park? Do we allow fishing? Do we allow public access?”
Morris agreed that it is an opportune time for direction from the council because money might be saved by getting the bid-winning contractor responsible for the drainage project to pour concrete slabs for picnic tables, etc. The addition of a shelter and rest rooms were discussed.
“There’s a lot of potential al right there in that little area,” Councilman Jerry Maennche said. “It’s a beautiful area.”
Maennche suggested limiting fishing to youth children, an option that drew support of other council members. The addition of a walking trail was also mentioned.
The mayor and Maennche said they believe current city employees can devise a park plan.
“I’ve got a big problem with trying to bring in maybe a landscaper or an architect and paying them $50,000 when that it what it might cost to do the whole project,” Alderman said.
No action was taken on the park. The issue will be discussed during a Sept. 28 retreat visit to the site.
“One good thing about that piece of property is that we aren’t waiting on anybody else to make decisions about it before we do something,” Morris said. “It’s ours and we can do anything we want with it.”