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Good as new
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The gazebo in Porterdale near the intersection of Ga. Highway 81 and Crowell Road is getting a facelift and will be reopened soon.

At this month's city council meeting, council members debated whether to demolish the gazebo due to its state of disrepair and its reputation of being a popular loitering point.

The gazebo had drawn the ire of residents who have complained at past meetings of people loitering well after dark. After public works Director Robert Witcher inspected the structure, Police Chief Wayne Digby ordered the area to be taped off following the meeting.

Councilman Mike Harper challenged fellow councilmember Arline Chapman, giving her 30 days to raise funds to retrofit the gazebo and bring it up to safe standards. Chapman accepted and has since put the wheels in motion to rebuild the aging structure.

Chapman was able to raise the funds in less than five days and work began last week to completely renovate the gazebo. As part of the new look, the opening will now face the highway and the lattice will be replaced with a more contemporary porch-type railing.

Councilwoman Kay Piper has arranged for Master Gardeners to landscape the surrounding area and Chapman was able to secure contributions for labor as well as a new roof.

Chapman said the gazebo has been a team effort and added Harper, who is a general contractor, donated his services and will paint the finished product at no charge.

"When the restoration is completed, we will hold a dedication event at which time we will recognize everyone who has made this project possible," Chapman said. "It is my hope that this will be a challenge to all of our residents, in particular those who own rental property, that it is time to fix up and paint."