Last night, South Fulton’s city council voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Fulton County, paving the way to a transfer of the Wolf Creek Amphitheater.
According to the agreement, the county will issue a quitclaim deed to the amphitheater on December 1, 2020. From now until that time, the city will allow the county to fulfill any entertainment commitments.
“As we continue to develop our arts and culture program, Wolf Creek Amphitheater is a natural fit because it provides us with a magnificent outdoor venue for concerts, large-scale productions and other performances,” said Mayor William “Bill” Edwards. “We are grateful to Fulton County for its support as our city continues to flourish. This agreement shows what can be achieved when two governments work together for the common good. That’s the kind of relationship governments should have.”
The amphitheater is situated on a 435-acre wooded site with multiple parcels. While Fulton County maintains that the amphitheater is not a park, the city will be allowed to purchase parcel #17 on which the amphitheater sits at the parks rate of $100 per acre. According to the county, the fair market value of the property is $28.5 million. Adjacent parcels #15 and #16 will be sold to the city at fair market value.
Because the amphitheater is located next to a closed landfill, the county reserves the right to conduct testing to comply with the Environmental Protection Division. The city will be required to purchase environmental insurance and agree not to engage in any land disturbing activities, among other obligations.
Other Properties in Question
The City of South Fulton threatened legal action against the Fulton County last August over Wolf Creek Amphitheater and several other assets. The IGA outlining the transfer of the amphitheater also aims to resolve any issues surrounding the other properties that the city had requested to be transferred.
As outlined in the IGA, the county will continue to own the Merk Miles Citizens Convenience Center, while the city will have operational control. The city will acquire the transportation center on Stonewall Tell Road through a lease purchase agreement at a cost of $1,750,000 over a five-year term. The city will take ownership of the public safety training center at the amphitheater site but will grant the county a 50-year ground lease for $1 annually.
The county and the city will enter into a separate IGA which will permit the county to provide basic traffic control services at a cost of $50,000 annually. The county will retain ownership of the libraries located in city limits as well as the Tom Lowe Shooting Range.
While Trammell Crow Park is not mentioned in the IGA approved at last night’s council meeting, the county attorney has stated that it will be transferred this year once the debt on the property has been cleared.
Expanding Arts and Culture Opportunities in South Fulton
The transfer of Wolf Creek Amphitheater is particularly timely as the city expands its arts and culture programming. With the addition of the amphitheater, as well as the South Fulton Arts Center and Southwest Arts Center, the city is poised to greatly increase residents’ access to arts instructional and performance opportunities.
“The City of South Fulton is poised to introduce first-class arts and cultural programming citywide leveraging these three facilities,” said City Manager Odie Donald II. “With the amphitheater being the last property that will be transferred from the county to the city, we look forward to enhancing the services we offer residents and adding new opportunities – many of which have not been seen before on the south side.”
Photo: Situated on a picturesque 435-acre wooded site, Wolf Creek Amphitheater accommodates 5,420 guests with table, reserved and lawn seating. Over the years, it has hosted plays, festivals and concerts featuring a who’s who of national music artists. (Credit: City of South Fulton)