November 27, 2021

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Roswell calls for support of federal funds for riverbank project, Doc’s Cafe restoration

Roswell’s funding request includes $6.5 million for part of the city’s riverbank restoration project at the former Ace Sand Company site near St. Andrew Catholic Church on Riverside Road. The location is one of several in its Roswell River Parks Master Plan, which calls for development of city parks along the Chattahoochee River.

A breakdown of costs at the Ace Sand site was provided by Roswell and shows the funds would pay for project work along the riverbank, native planting, building a children’s educational stormwater garden, a fitness trail loop with exercise equipment, parking, a picnic pavilion, restroom and more.

The funding request includes $800,000 for the restoration of Doc’s Café. The former restaurant near Oxbo Road was a social gathering place for Black residents during segregation. Roswell plans to make Doc’s Cafe a historic preservation site for local African American heritage with developed park space and a draw for tourism. The center would also have exhibits and educational programs, a Roswell statement said.

A February statement from House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said the committee would accept 10 community project requests from each House member, but a relatively small number would be funded.

“Our bipartisan reforms will produce a small number of projects with strong community support, a transparent process where no member’s family can benefit and where projects are audited to ensure money was spent as planned,” DeLauro said in February.

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