Canton City Council members discussed repairs and costs of repairs to the Etowah River Park Pedestrian Bridge during their meeting on Thursday.

Canton based the repair needs on residents who have used the bridge, as well as analysis from city staff. City Manager Billy Peppers said that the repairs would consist of replacing the existing wood with pressure treated wood on the boardwalk on both sides of the bridge, with the wood being treated with clear water resistant sealant, an alternative composite material for the handrails, stained rails and substructure of bridge, and replacing all wood decking with 3 inch galvanized steel. Peppers said that repairs could be finished by late fall and that the overall cost of the project would be $170,000.

Council members then authorized Mayor Bill Grant to sign a letter of support for the mini-pitch soccer field project at Harmon Park in the Sunnyside community. Peppers said the project will be paid for by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Atlanta United Foundation, and that Canton will contribute up to $25,000 in financial support to assist in achieving the maximum grant available. In total, the city estimates this to be a $50,000 package of financial and in-kind support.

Peppers said that Canton will assist in the project, using the Community Development Block Grant assistance to customize and install necessary lighting to support the field space, demolish existing batting cages to prep a level space for the mini-pitch, and supply the land, maintenance, and management of space for the long-term project.

Council then held a public hearing and discussion regarding an amendment to the Unified Development Code. Community Development Director Ken Patton said that this amendment would allow the city to combine all variance requests and appeals to one board, which would be known as the Canton Board of Appeals. This amendment would do away with the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals, as well as the Board of Appeals for the International Property Maintenance Code.

All instances within the Development Code, which specifies Board of Zoning Appeals and/or Board of Construction Adjustment and Appeals, would be amended to Board of Appeals, and all instances within the Development Code which specifies Board of Zoning Appeals would be amended to Board of Appeals.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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