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Leaders seeking park ideas
Community leaders and business owners with an interest in the future of Brunswick's Mary Ross Waterfront Park met Tuesday to start talking about a new plan for the city-owned site.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources awarded Brunswick a grant Oct. 1 to study the park's potential. The study will analyze the site's structural integrity, ability to host events and accessibility to the downtown.

The DNR will contribute $17,500 to the almost $44,000 study, the city will contribute $17,500 in cash and $8,914 in in-kind services.

During the next year, the city will hire a consulting firm to study the park and its dock to determine what some possibilities could be. The study will likely continue through September 2014.

The city so far has heard ideas to construct restaurants, if the dock is strong enough to hold them, or a kayak launch site at the park, City Planner Arne Glaeser said. But the city doesn't want to discount any other ideas, he said, so for the next few weeks people will be able to submit ideas for revamping the park's image and offerings.

"We presume something will be built at the park. We want to make sure it's sustainable," Glaeser said. "At a minimum, we will have a conceptual design for the park. All of this will be looked at. We're certainly not going to discount any ideas."

City Commissioner Julie Martin said she would like to see the park have space for permanent and temporary uses. An existing farmer's market could operate three days a week, she suggested, and the park could have the occasional food truck visit.

Bob Torras, owner of the nearby Brunswick Landing Marina for recreational boats, said he would back revitalizing the park, but would oppose any plan that would compete with his business.

"I'm certainly supportive of anything you can do to help downtown Brunswick, to keep people here all day," Torras said. "But I would certainly hope the city's not trying to compete with private enterprise. That's not the government function."

Glaeser said the city might continue to lease dock space to shrimp boats, but there are no plans to open the dock to recreational vessels.

* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at kquimby@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.

Have an idea?

Anyone with ideas for the Mary Ross Waterfront Park may contact Brunswick City Planner Arne Glaeser at 912-267-5502 or by email at aglaeser@cityofbrunswick-ga.gov.



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