Construction of relocated Jimmy Gill Park set to begin soon

Athens

ATHENS, Ala. – Jimmy “Wayne” Gill dedicated his life to the City of Athens. Not many people have a park named after them before they pass on. However, the park itself is being moved to Hines Street where the old Woodland Golf Course was.

Toyota Boshoku, along with 400 jobs, replaced the once heavily used park which was initially on West Sanderfer Road.

Mayor Ronnie Marks expects dirt to start moving within the next 30-days.

“We’ve set aside about 12-acres there that will be maintained as a park. The other 50 acres will be the industrial park,” said Mayor Marks as he spoke to a crowd of about 50 residents at a District 3 town hall.

The project will cost a minimum of $900,000. About $300,000 will come from Toyota Boshoku. Some bids for the park exceeded a million dollars. Because of that, expect the park to grow in phases.

“The pavilion, the playground, the all-purpose field. See where we are money wise and then see where we are with the final product,” said Mayor Marks.

You can eventually expect a walking path around the pond as well as basketball courts.

If you didn’t know, late councilman Jimmy Gill spent more than 20-years serving Athens. This park represents only a fraction of what he meant to the community.

“Jimmy Gill was a community activist. He loved the people. He loved the people in the city,” said Council President Frank Travis.

Nearby District 4 doesn’t have a single playground. Mayor Marks says that makes it all that more important to get the park in District 3 done the right way.

Council President Frank Travis says Jimmy Gill would be proud.

“He was all for jobs and improving the community. So he’d say move the park and let the jobs come,” said Travis.

The community is expected to have continued input on what happens with the new Jimmy Gill Park.

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