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04 March 2015

Commissioners End Another Bill Edwards' Era Dispute Between North & South Fulton

William "Bill" Edwards was a polarizing figure on the Fulton County Commission.

He was often at the center of the north-south divide in Fulton County; angering some by referring to north Fulton as "podunk" [Edwards (7 March 2013). Attorney says commissioners unwittingly broke open meetings law. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 4 March 2015.].

For years, Bill Edwards obstructed the sale of Providence Park to the City of Milton.

Providence Park is a 42-acre facility, currently owned by Fulton County, but located wholly within Milton. Providence Park has been closed since 2004.

The City of Milton wanted to purchase Providence Park for $100 an acre, for a total price of $4,200 acres. Former Commissioner Edwards wanted to declare Providence Park surplus property and sold at the fair market value, which some estimated to be more than $6.2 million.

Fulton County Commission Vice Chair Liz Hausmann told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2011, "Unfortunately, [Edwards] seems to be out to get north Fulton. For the commissioner, at the 11th hour, to try to change the status of the land, to try to take something away from a north Fulton city, is shameful.”

Edwards, a Democrat, was defeated in the 2014 party primary, bringing an end to his fourteen years on the Fulton County Commission.

With Edwards no longer dividing the county, the Fulton County Commission is now moving to end long-standing disputes initiated by him during his time in office.

Commissioners began the post-Bill Edwards' era by withdrawing an objection to Chattahoochee Hills annexing 4,920 acres of land into the city.

And, at its 4 March 2015 meeting, the Fulton County Commission authorized the sale of Providence Park for $100 an acre.

The vote on the park's sale to the City of Milton was 5 - 1 supporting the land deal.