Hamilton Crossing is a small park of baseball fields, soccer fields, and basketball courts in a school district near the city of Cassville, Georgia. This area became the focus of a planned SPLOST expansion into a grand sporting area that has been currently left in limbo.
In 2019, not much was mentioned about how much money was going to be required for the Hamilton Crossing SPLOST project, but it is estimated the “total cost of planned park infrastructure — including parking and stormwater — [would be] at around $2 million” (Swift, 2018). There were also plans for a $5 million park water feature, a tennis center costing $500,000, and a $6 million double gym. This all totals $13.5 million alone. Some construction was begun, though, and Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson said that, “There’s still some money left in the ’08 SPLOST that’s designated for rec, so that’s what we’ve been using on the grading of what you’ve seen going on out there” (Swift, 2018). This allowed for grading and similar groundwork to be done in 2019.
There was no formal announcement of the project as a part of a county budget, and County Commissioner Steve Taylor said that there were no plans to borrow money for the project. However, the 2020 budget shows a “2020 SPLOST Project Length Budget” set at $160,500,000.00 (Bartow County, 2020). As of right now, no work is being done in the area, and much of the grading that had been done in early 2019 has begun to wash away and erode. Currently, a pond is roughly completed, but everything else is a desert of red clay created by the leftover ’08 SPLOST. There are no details regarding the amount listed in the 2020 Budget for the SPLOST, though it is $147 million more than just the aforementioned amenities and infrastructure.
Right now, the project isn’t moving at all, so most residents consider it an abandoned failure. There are no construction machines left in the area to denote continued work, but a sign along the highway reminds every passerby that this is their SPLOST money hard at work. I don’t think there is an abundance of positive or negative opinions about the area – due to the fact that there is little information regarding the project anymore – and most people just note that it’s an eyesore.
Given the recent development of the county, I think the vision for this small area is far too grand. Hamilton Crossing is a small area near the city of Cassville, just north of Cartersville. Most people pass through Cassville on their way to Adairsville or Rome, so a sporting area of this size isn’t appropriate for the location. Just south of Cartersville in the city of Emerson is the LakePoint Sporting complex, a much bigger development that, until the pandemic, drew in thousands of people and filled hotels to capacity from Adairsville to Acworth. For the county government to develop Hamilton Crossing into a similarly-natured area would be superfluous in comparison to the expansive LakePoint area. The Hamilton Crossing project should be scaled back to better serve local residents as opposed to trying to draw in a larger sporting crowd that would no doubt choose LakePoint for their sporting activities.
Bartow County, Georgia. (2020, February 5). Bartow County 2020 Budgets. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.bartowga.org/CommissionerOffice/BUDGET%202020.pdf
Swift, J. (2018, December 17). Hamilton Crossing Park expansion infrastructure to pick up in 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.daily-tribune.com/stories/hamilton-crossing-park-expansion-infrastructure-to-pick-up-in-2019,20839