Concept Would Convert the Golf Course to Public Safety Campus

Photo shows Jonathon Penn, parks & rec director, presenting at the Cotton Fields golf course town hall (Clayton Carte photo).
Jonathon Penn, Henry County Parks & Recreation Cluster Lead, presents at the Cotton Fields town hall meeting, May 10, 2023. (Clayton Carte photo)

A community meeting on Wednesday night left golfers and neighbors at Cotton Fields Golf Course angry over the county’s concept to convert the property into a public safety campus. Plans would include a new fire training academy, new E-911 center and other buildings.

Henry County purchased the property in 2007 for $22 million dollars. The intent at the time was for future county buildings.

Public Safety Campus

Henry County Fire Rescue Chief Jonathan Burnette and Parks & Recreation Cluster Lead JP Penn led the Wednesday night meeting. They presented the county’s concept for a new public safety campus on the property. The layout is conceptual at this time and building placement is not final.

At its center, the campus would have a new fire training academy. Chief Burnette explained the county does not presently have a training center. The previous fire center was built by county firefighters some twenty years ago and had to be condemned. Should the county not build a new facility, it will negatively affect the department’s ISO score, or ranking, at their next evaluation. The ISO score is a factor in everyone’s homeowners’ insurance rates.

The fire training center would also include a burn building and driving pad. The burn building allows firefighters to simulate fire conditions, typically with gas or wood, for training. Chief Burnette assured those present that a burn building does not put off the black smoke seen at house fires.

Secondly, the county needs a new E-911 center. The county’s current E-911...

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About Clayton 1444 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.