Ball Ground has nearly finished installing speakers along the city’s main street in an effort to add a little more ambiance and flavor to the downtown area.
Ball Ground City Manager Eric Wilmarth said the city first considered the idea in 2007, but it was canned before coming back onto the table recently as something the city could accomplish.
While city leaders had always envisioned the speakers as a way to communicate with residents and visitors to the downtown area, such as announcing floats during the Christmas parade and other similar instances, an additional benefit was realized as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Ball Ground had planned for a series of live music events in downtown on Saturday evenings throughout the summer, but these had to be shelved in the wake of the pandemic, which led the city to revisit the idea of installing speakers.
“We want to make the area more user-friendly,” Wilmarth said.
The speakers will play a wide range of music to entertain residents and visitors as they spend time in the shops and restaurants downtown, with the master control panel for the system being located at Barrel House Coffee.
“It’s a pretty central location, and we have a good relationship with the building’s owner,” Wilmarth said.
The speakers have been installed along A.W. Roberts Drive/Gilmer Ferry Road, and that the master control panel should be put in place by the end of the week.
“Once that is accomplished, we will have a company rep from ‘streetsounds’ that will come in, bring everything live, do the programming and get street music playing downtown,” he said, adding that could happen within the next couple of weeks.
The reactions the city has been receiving for this new addition to downtown has been positive overall, Wilmarth said. Once they are up and running, however, he said the city should have a far clearer picture on how the speakers are being received by the public.