MOULTRIE, Ga. -- COVID-19 may have stalled some workplaces throughout Moultrie, but the city’s construction projects kept pushing their agendas. Now, some city goers can find a sense of normalcy again.

Downtown Moultrie officially finished the South Main Street Parking Lot renovation on May 28 and already merchants and customers have begun taking advantage of the new space. 

This new space includes more than 15 parking spaces, improved lighting, gutter systems, painting and curbing, more greenspace areas, and a dumpster enclosure.

Debbie Mock with Alderman Classic Realty said she parked there Monday -- June 1 -- calling it “convenient” and “zippy.” She’s enjoying the greenery the most, however.

“It’s nice, clean and makes downtown look better,” she said.

Those are the things that Amy Johnson, director of downtown economic development and public relations, was happy to hear. She said feedback on it has been mostly positive.

The road to get to this point wasn’t a difficult one, but it was one which some merchants had a slight grievance with: They and their customers would find themselves with limited or distant parking.

Johnson said there was nothing that could be done about it, but the end justifies the means.

“When there are enhancements and positive change, sometimes you have to give a little in order to get,” Johnson said. “And in that case, giving a little was having to give up parking from January to now.”

A positive turn came out of the pandemic in reference to this. Between COVID-19 and the cancellation of events, there was no need for those parking spaces as social distancing and other guidelines went into effect for the public’s safety.

Johnson noted that the lot’s opening was just the next step in Downtown Moultrie’s five-year strategic plan and was funded through private donations and SPLOST, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax approved by voters.

The next focus of the five-year plan is the Sportsman’s Park, a walkthrough park that will be created once the former Sportsman’s restaurant is demolished. Liability discussions last month have delayed the project.

Also planned is the addition of security cameras and a downtown Wi-Fi network, the downtown welcome center renovation, and the finalization of the loft apartments in the former Treasure Chest Building.

The city is also still working on Northwest Park whose court, basketball posts and goals, and overhead lights have been placed. There’s more work left to be done though.

It still needs fencing, benches and picnic tables placed throughout the park, alongside painted markings for the court and a finished parking lot.

Ground was broken for the latter in weeks past. According to Engineering Director Greg Monfort, recycled pavement shillings from past roadwork will be used for it.

Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority is continuing to push its construction as well. Paving for the competition pool floor will begin Thursday after construction crews finish grounding the pool.

Leading up to that, surge tanks, which capture and stop waves created by swimmers from rebounding inward, for it are being built too.

The dive well’s foundation was dug up toward its deep end to install a sparger system. This, according to MCCPRA Director Greg Icard, makes a softer landing for divers.

“We had it before, but it was with pvc piping at the bottom of the pool,” Icard said. “This is going to be integrated in the pool system itself, which is a safer, more efficient way to do it.”

The same thing is being done for the competition pool. Icard said construction for the pavilion building, which will stand next to the competition pool, may start in the next week to a month.

November is still set as the project’s finish date.

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