I. Welcome & Introductions
Tom Tidwell called the meeting to order at about 6:45 PM.
II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the November and January meetings were approved.
III. Admit New Member Neighborhoods
No neighborhoods asked to be admitted to membership in BCN. Ralph Herrera attended for Springlake, a neighborhood which hasn’t been active in BCN for several years. He was encouraged to rejoin BCN.
IV. BCN Standing Committees
- Tom Tidwell said he had not gotten a response from Mayor Reed and Superintendent Carstarphen encouraging settlement of their Beltline Tax Allocation District (TAD) issues. He went on to explain the mechanics of the Beltline TAD and how it represents a short-term loss in revenue for APS to be hopefully offset by a long-term gain. Tom provided a handout outlining the APS/TAD issue.
Tom also discussed dispute over transferring property deeds from City to APS and the Governor’s bill regarding statewide “Opportunity School District”. He also commented that the Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula was being revised and that Dr. Carstarphen reported it might mean $10 million in additional funding for APS.
- The infrastructure bond was discussed. The last public meeting in Buckhead was scheduled for February 17. Several attendees mentioned that the project list in Buckhead seemed to be limited compared to other parts of the city. Gordon Certain commented that the online project list is weighted to projects that will never happen: the list at the time included $352 million whereas the funding for transportation will be much less. [The list was cleaned up after the meeting but still has a lot of errors.] The bond issue vote is March 17.
Regarding the Peachtree “road diet”, Gordon said he attended the Buckhead CID meeting. Briefings have been provided to BCID and Councilmembers Adrean and Shook. According to the BCID, a public briefing will be scheduled for mid to late March. Four options are being considered. Tom talked about the state efforts to fund transportation, particularly the conversion from using sales taxes to an excise tax. Jim Elgar said the change would reduce revenues to municipalities and was being opposed by the Georgia Municipal Association. He said the change as currently drafted would impact the city. Also, Tom noted, excise taxes cannot be constitutionally used for transit and Atlanta is heavily impacted by the need for transit whereas sales taxes could be used for transit. We were encouraged to reach out to our representatives.
- No report.
- Maisha Greene, the new Zone 2 Community Prosecutor, was introduced. She previously served Zone 4. She lives in Midtown now and used to live in Buckhead. Gordon reported that Phase 1 of PATH400 opened. It is a ½-mile multiuse trail along GA400 right of way. A second ½-mile segment is under construction. The total project will extend 5.2 miles from near I-85 at Piedmont Road north to Loridans Drive in North Buckhead. PATH400 will connect to the Beltline trail and will be transformative to the area. Tom Gordon reported that Trees Atlanta and the city tree recompense fund had planted many trees in his neighborhood.
V. Community Concerns/New Business
Gordon mentioned that the city has a new phone number and web site for most city services. The phone number is 311 (311 works only from a land line; from a cell phone, dial 404-546-0311). The web site is www.atl311.com. The phone number is active 7 AM through 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Almost all city services are accessible from this system.
VII. New Business/Announcements
VIII. Next Meeting
March 12, 2015.
The April meeting will be on April 16, the third Thursday.
IX. Adjourn – The meeting adjourned at about 8:15 PM.
Note: The opinions expressed by the speakers and individual neighborhood representatives in these minutes do not necessarily represent those of BCN or its member neighborhoods.