Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold proudly announced the donation of $75,000 from Community Enterprises to be used for the Greatest Generation Memorial Park.
Arnold released the following statement Friday concerning the park:
“As Mayor of the City of Thomaston, I am pleased to have this opportunity to thank Community Enterprises, Inc. for their most recent gift to the Greatest Generation Memorial Park,” Arnold said. “This latest gift, which I just received, was in the amount of $75,000 and will enable construction of facilities to be enjoyed by generations of members of our community.
“At the request of Community Enterprises, the City of Thomaston will set up an interest bearing account so contributions may be made by Community Enterprises to that account for the Greatest Generation Memorial Park.
“Community Enterprises earlier donated $200,000 to help enable the city to purchase the ‘Pine Thicket' and provided an additional $20,000 to have Jordan, Jones and Goulding prepare a master plan for the park.
“I give a heartfelt thank you to the Hightower family for their on going love and support for Thomaston and Upson County.
“Additionally, a recent statement on WTGA radio by Council member Wallace Rhodes merits a correction and explanation.
“The $300,000 Mr. Rhodes stated the city received from timber sales was incorrect. The city received $254,779.92 in 2005 from timber sales, but paid out professional fees to the registered forester in the amount of $25,247.74.
“In addition, the city spent $16,928 on reforestation so that future generations could enjoy the benefits of good forest management and make future harvests. The bottom line is that the city received a net of $212,604.18, which is some $87,000 less that stated. Too large a sum to be ignored.
“At a called City Council meeting Friday, April 8, 2005 the allocation of timber proceeds was passed, stating the fee to be paid to the forester, an amount to be applied toward reclamation and reforestation; and to allocate ALL remaining proceeds to The Greatest Generation Park project.
“Council members [Doug] Head, [Gary] Atwater, [Ed] Bell and Rhodes voted in favor of the motion to allocate the balance of the proceeds to The Greatest Generation Park. Mrs. [Lila] Bryan was absent. The motion carried unanimously.
“Lastly, it is most typical and appropriate for those who give donations to be allowed the privilege of either stating or having input as to how their donations will be used. All private contributions made to The Greatest Generation Memorial Park will be used for construction or landscape projects within the park.
“The purpose of voting to allocate timber sales to be used for the park project was to be sure matching funds would be available for grants the city might seek on behalf of the park.
“As a result, the City of Thomaston was officially awarded a $500,000 TE (Transportation Enhancement) grant March 7, 2006.
“Money received from the sale of a green space asset will be used to improve another green space area. Your city will continue to seek grants and outside assistance to see that all phases of The Greatest Generation Memorial Park are completed.
“Thanks to all of those who have worked so hard to make this happen.”