Fayette BOE asked to donate 100 acres for equine facility

Scott Gilbert of Horse Owners of Fayette speaks April 20 to the Board of Education. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It was a different kind of proposal that came before the Fayette County Board of Education last week. Representing the planned organization Horse Owners of Fayette, resident Scott Gilbert asked the school board to consider donating 100 acres adjacent to Inman Elementary in the southeast part of the county for an enclosed equine arena

that could be constructed and operated by the county. The facility could host regional revenue-generating equine events and local events such as graduations and the county fair, Gilbert said.

Gilbert said the new organization has yet to meet with county commissioners officially.

“I think it would be a positive impact,” Gilbert told the board, referencing the large number of horse owners both in Fayette County and around the metro Atlanta region that would be expected to take advantage of the facility. “I don’t think the real estate situation is going to change anytime soon. This will benefit taxpayers and provide tax revenue for the county if the county operates it.”

The facility would easily facilitate large events such as graduation ceremonies and the 100-acre property could provide a venue for the county fair, Gilbert added.
Board members made no specific observations at the conclusion of Gilbert’s presentation.

Gilbert added that if the idea is well-received and if Horse Owners of Fayette incorporates, it will do so as a non-profit.

Gilbert after the meeting said preliminary plans call for the construction of an enclosed 420-foot-by-280-foot arena building that would likely seat approximately 2,000 people and could have adjacent meeting rooms. Also tentatively planned are a horse stall building and three small outside arenas. The total estimated cost is $2 million, he said.

BMF
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This will benefit taxpayers?

The estimated cost to build is only two million dollars. As we know, these costs are always conservatively estimated and never go over budget.

As an added benefit the county will operate it. With the mowing, maintenance, and upkeep this will be several part time jobs and possibly one or two full time jobs.

That's a great idea to hold graduation ceremonies here. Why on earth would we conduct graduation ceremonies at the high schools themselves using existing facilities that are already paid for?

If there is a great need and it is practically money in the bank, then I'm sure some private companies will come forth with a solid business plan and financial backing and make it happen. In these economic times, who in their right mind has the chutzpah to propose such an outlandish idea? What will benefit taxpayers is for a company to purchase said land from the county and the county collecting property tax on that land. Now we're talking.

County run equine facility? Thanks but no thanks.

matt.barnes
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Horse Arena

This idea is right up there with Dar's Ice Palace. Why do these people think it is the tax payers responsibility to fund there hobbies/pipe dream businesses.

wanttoknow
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Horse Park by Inman

Absolutely NOT! This property should be sold to raise funds to build a reserve fund for the school system. While it will not fetch what was paid at the time of purchase, we'd be much better off holding it until property values recover or to sell it at a loss and be done with it. If the Horse Owners of Fayette are so confident in their plan's success and that it is so financially attractive, they should make an offer to buy the property outright. I'm pretty sure that their reasoning for not doing so is the financial risk involved. Let's dump another bad commercial venture into a county government agency so that tax payers can pay for it eternally. . . . NOT!

I have a upcomming senior at WHS and my last wish would be for them to graduate in a horse barn. Maybe Mr. Ed can hand out the diplomas.

tgm317
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Horse Arena Idea

If this Horse Arena is so desirable, why not take one of the many golf courses and convert it into a fine Equine facility?

The golf courses are already loaded with Horses A**es!

Why would you ever consider putting this beside a public school?

news_10
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This would be an excellent

This would be an excellent place for an equine facility! The beautiful landscape of Fayette county should be preserved for a place like this.

father time
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Equine Facility

I believe that this is a great idea. This would bring in some good economical needs that would benefit the community. This facility could also be used for several other events and the area would be perfect.
I hope that this passes the votes needed and could begin building it soon.

Sankar
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Peachtree City has such a facility!

Oh about 20 years or so ago.

It stunk so badly that it was dismantled and a soccer (football) arena was built.

It would provide jobs for shovelers, however. Didn't have any before I think. Maybe why the stink? (whole Glenlock stunk)

Don't give PTC anything to take care of and maintain, they won't even do it for kids unless it is a big field they can mow with a contractor.

AtHomeGym
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Equine Facility & Sankar

Got nothing to do with PTC--maybe if you could concentrate just a wee bit more on comprehension, it would help. Cats aint got nothing on you with number of lives!

Sankar
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Gym

They stink just as badly anywhere they exist!
They also require the same amount of work and upkeep, and vets.
I love horses but I know no city or county will do it correctly.
And, I doubt that the county will simply give Dar or whomever a hundred acres.
Ice ranks didn't pass muster!
Horses have to roam every day. Who is going to build and maintain the fence and keep arrow shooters at bay? I will help feed them and water them. Need tons of hay and corn, plus the grass in the fields must be tended to.

Not enough population to support it however.

ALPHAmare
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Horse Park

Sankar- The horse facility you are thinking of housed horses year round day in and day out. The facility currently under proposal would be a venue for shows of all kinds, but primarily horses and would not require (or allow actually) that horses reside on the grounds. People would trailer in for events and leave when the event is complete. They would bring their own feed and hay. They pay their own vet expenses. This means there would not be an accumulation of manure nor would there be a need for grazing pastures. If you are interested or have any concerns about how a horse park will affect our county, Wills Park in Alpharetta is a great example. Many Fayette County residents make the drive to Alpharetta on a regular basis. Eating in their restaraunts, paying for their hotel rooms, buying their gas, etc. If such a facility is available in Fayette County we could benefit from that same economic impact. Thanks for listening!

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