The county bought the 42.5-acre central portion of Hyde Farm with 2006 parks bond money. The property is a mixture of agricultural terraces and a central core that includes the 1840-era Power-Hyde House and 12 historic farm buildings, which have deteriorated. There is a $3.5 million line item in the 2011 SPLOST to restore the property.
“This is a turn of the century, mid-1800s farm that is still in the condition that it was back then, so it is a perfect example of a Cobb County farm,” Southeast Commissioner Bob Ott said. “It’s right on the river. They did all their farming by mules, by hand and stuff. It has electricity, but it still has a well. Literally if you were to walk by the homestead, you would not be able to believe you were in east Cobb.”
The plan is for the firm to tell the county what exactly is needed to restore the buildings, Ott said.
For the last few years, students from the University of Georgia have been visiting the farm to help with the preservation plan.
“UGA has been working on what parts of it should be farmed and what parts are historical, and on Oct. 9 UGA is coming out and we may actually camp out overnight,” Ott said. “They’re bringing some students out, and we’re going to have a cook-out at the farm.”
Ott said there is no deadline for the farm’s restoration.
“We’ve been intentionally going slow because we want to get it right,” he said.
Eddie Canon, director of the county’s parks, recreation & cultural affairs department, said he hopes to have a fee hammered out in the next few weeks. If an agreement cannot be reached, the county will select one of five other firms that responded to the request for proposals, he said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Commissioners:
- Bought 11 Chevrolet Caprice police pursuit vehicles for $299,827, along with $70,400 in vehicle parts to equip them with police technology;
- Hired attorney Jim Evangelista of Harris, Penn, Lowry, Delcampo to file a lawsuit against mortgage lenders for violations of the Fair Housing Act. County chairman Tim Lee declined to go into details about the proposed lawsuit, saying he could speak more freely about it once the suit had been filed;
- Granted approval to Bingtang 11, Inc. to open up a wine and spirits shop at 4905 Alabama Road in Roswell;
- Renewed a one-year pilot program, which began in September 2011, with Eagle Vending Company, Inc. to install three vending machines that provide healthy snacks in county buildings;
- Approved a $103,825 contract with Brewer Engineering, Inc. for redevelopment of athletic fields at Sewell Park with SPLOST funds; and
- Authorized the Cobb DUI Court to create the position of assistant DUI court coordinator beginning Oct. 1 for $55,000.