Why do non-residents have to pay to park at Cochran Mill Park? Aren't those paid for in part by the County or State governments? If so, we have all, residents as well as nonresidents have had a hand in how nice of a place Cochran Mill and Chattahoochee Hills is and should all the more be able to freely enjoy the public parks of the area?
We appreciate your comments about Cochran Mill Park, and like you, wish that budgetary requirements didn’t require a parking fee. But, as with Parks across the country, rising service costs and the need to maintain infrastructure simply make it necessary.
Just as a clarification, Cochran Mill Park was purchased for the City of Chattahoochee Hills through a volunteer-run fundraising effort in 2010 after years of benign neglect by Fulton County. Chattahoochee Hills gets no Federal, State, or County funds for the park – almost all of our operating funds come directly from the taxes paid by the citizens of Chattahoochee Hills. Those citizens are able to use the park for free (although many of them donate the yearly parking fee anyway, and many more donate time for trail maintenance and other park support).
But we also recognize that most of the users come from outside of the City. We absolutely invite and want everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of our parks! But we do think it is only fair and equitable for our non-resident users to participate in a small way in supporting the parks and their facilities. Our fees ($5 a visit, or $25 for a no-limit annual pass) seem appropriate to us for a whole carload’s yearlong enjoyment of nature, especially in times where even one trip to a matinee movie costs more than that! So please; come enjoy our Chattahoochee Hills Parks, and welcome!