City leaders decide the future of the muddy Evans Towne Center Park

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) - Evans Towne Center Park in Columbia County is a muddy mess following rain and vehicle traffic at the Ban-Joe-B-Que event. 

City leaders, Tuesday night, announced what they believe the best way to move is. 

Evans Towne Center Park is the home of Columbia County's most talked about events, like concerts at the Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre and Boom! In the Park that happens every July 4th. 

The park's lawn used to be a plush pad of grass, but is now a muddy pie of dirt.

It's been more than a week since the annual Ban-Joe-B-Que, and Tuesday night, Columbia County Commissioners announced the plan to fix it: "We had a contractor come, and look and say 'You know, if you just fertilize the grass, it will be grown back in the next few weeks,'" Commissioner Doug Duncan told NewsChannel 6.

The board had 5 options-- project prices ranging from 16 to 75 thousand dollars. 

Since the park is 7 years old, the county has been wanting to improve different aspects for some time, so some thought this may be a good time, while the park is closed. 

"What did come out of this though, was a focus on a long-term plan," Duncan explained. "Instead of rushing and trying to pick one since it's growing back, it will be just like it was in a couple of weeks."

The Ban-Joe-B-Que promoter, A B Beverage will foot the bill, as the contract says the park must be returned in the shape that it was taken. 

But as for future planning, Duncan said building a vehicle traffic path is a priority: "If there is an event trucks can come in on that path without damaging the park."

With July 4th less than a month away, city leaders are planning to move the annual Boom! In the Park event from Evans Towne Park Center to possibly Patriots Park.

"It's the best decision because it is the quickest," Duncan concluded. "It will get restored just like it was."

NewsChannel 6's Samantha Williams asked how much money and when the Ban-Joe-B-Que promoters will pay, but leaders said that is all still up in the air. 

Photojournalist: Antony Sherrod

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