Monday, August 31, 2015

ATT Uverse #Gigapower Fiber Internet is coming to Dunwoody, GA


Above is an internet speed test from AT&T's UVerse Gigapower fiber internet service that is about to be released in Dunwoody to both residential and business customers.    In case you are not aware, it is quite fast and I dare you to test your speed compared to that shown above.   To test your speed just click the link below.

The city has been working to bolster internet speeds for quite some time and now it appears that there may be numerous companies getting ready to jump into this market.  The more the merrier as competition is good for the consumer but as a loyal ATT& T Uverse guy, I say kudos to AT&T for being the first in the Dunwoody market.

Here is the official press release from AT&T.

ATLANTA,  Aug. 31, 2015 AT&T1 is expanding the availability of U-verse® with AT&T GigaPowerSM to residential and small business customers in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Milton and Woodstock.2

The new Internet service gives customers some of the fastest online speeds available anywhere. Customers can download 25 songs in less than a second, a TV show in three seconds or their favorite HD movie in less than 36 seconds.3

“Residents and small businesses want the latest technologies and AT&T is delivering,” said Beth Shiroishi, president of AT&T Georgia. “The AT&T GigaPower network facilitates a new wave of creativity and innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research and small business growth.”

U-verse with AT&T GigaPower already is available in parts of Atlanta, Decatur, Newnan, Sandy Springs and surrounding communities.

AT&T GigaPower offers Internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. It can improve the experience for customers when connecting to the cloud, doing a videoconference, playing online games and more.

The high-speed Internet service is 99.9 percent reliable. It offers the fastest, most powerful Wi-Fi signal with an upgraded home gateway using the latest technology. The new gateway connects more devices with faster speeds from nearly anywhere in the home or business.

Customers who sign up for U-verse with AT&T GigaPower will also have access to award-winning U-verse TV and Voice services. New customers can watch and record up to six HD programs at the same time. AT&T GigaPower customers will also be able to record and store more of their favorite shows – up to 900 hours of SD or 330 hours of HD programming.

Customers can use the AT&T U-verse App on smartphones and tablets to watch more than 250 live TV channels in their home and more than 210 live TV channels while on the go. Customers can also stream video on demand, schedule DVR recordings and access other features from the U-verse app.

Consumers in eligible areas can choose from a variety of plans. AT&T offers single, double and triple play bundles, so customers can select a combination of services to fit their needs. The packages below include waivers of equipment, installation and activation fees.

  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps starting as low as $120 a month, or speeds at 100Mbps as low as $90 a month, with a one year price guarantee.4
  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps and qualifying TV service starting as low as $150 a month, or speeds at 100Mbps and qualifying TV service as low as $120 a month, with a one year price guarantee.
  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV + Voice: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice starting as low as $180 a month, or speeds at 100Mbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice as low as $150 a month, with a two year price guarantee.
The success of the first AT&T GigaPower market in Austin, Texas led to a major expansion in 2014. AT&T plans to expand its 100 percent fiber-optic network in up to 25 markets. The company has launched U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in 15 markets. AT&T has announced plans to offer AT&T GigaPower in parts of the Jacksonville, St. Louis and San Antonio markets.

AT&T will continue to roll out its fastest Internet services over its all-fiber network to reach more than 14 million residential and commercial locations.

AT&T has invested in Georgia communications networks, people and local communities for 136 years. Between 2012 through 2014, AT&T invested more than $5.4 billion in its best-in-class wireless and wired networks in Georgia, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance reliability, coverage, speed and performance for residents and business customers. AT&T employs about 21,000 people across the state.
For more information on U-verse with AT&T GigaPower, or to check availability, please visit att.com/gigapower.

The City of Dunwoody wants to know how we can best fill the Senior Housing need for those who want to stay local.


I have requested our City Manager to see if a member of staff can attend to discover best practices for providing housing to our seniors who want to stay in Dunwoody.

Other places with good data below.




Female flaggers in Dunwoody turn heads, open minds - 11Alive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zc2_O_8GHk


11Alive Jennifer Leslie - When work crews began putting in a new water main along busy Mt. Vernon Road in Dunwoody, something unexpected happened. Drivers began to embrace the inconvenience.   "People really like us," said traffic flagger Hilary Quinn. "They bring us food and water and wave at us."  The traffic flaggers are all women, who wear shorts and tank tops and break the mold. They're so popular, they've been featured in a local blog.  "When people drive down the road, we get a lot of second looks," said traffic flagger Gigi Burg. "They want to know, why are all these women out here?"

It's an obvious question with a complicated answer. "We're all dealing with some harder backgrounds and struggles in life," Quinn said. The crew started years ago with core group of women who were placed with GS Construction as part of a job training program for drug treatment. "I've only been clean or sober for four years, so I know what it means to leave the past in the past," said Burg, who was one of the first hired. In the years since, she brought on more women. Some of them are overcoming addictions. Others are dealing with felony records. "It's opened my eyes and helped me realize I do have other options," said traffic flagger Tiffany. "I don't have to go out and commit a crime just to survive."

There are about 20 women now who work so well together that GS Construction CEO Alessandro Salvo is branching out with a new nonprofit called The Pink Ladies Traffic Control.  The goal is to hire and help more women with a troubled past. "If they want to stay and grow with the company, that's fine," Salvo said. "If they just need it as a stepping stone to get their life back in order, that's good, too."

"It is rewarding know there's a company that backs you up and supports you through getting back on track and getting your life straight," Quinn added.

GS Construction could actually benefit financially from hiring employees with criminal records.  One of the flaggers recently told Salvo that the company qualifies for work opportunity tax credits, and he's applying for them now.

http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/dunwoody/2015/08/28/female-flaggers-turn-heads-open-minds/71313862/

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pebble Tossers 5K / 1M & Nonprofit Expo to be held on Sat, Sept 12, 2015 in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park


Pebble Tossers is a nonprofit youth development organization driven with a mission to positively impact the lives of youth through enriching community service and hands on educational opportunities that establish strong leadership qualities, build character and improve personal values.   Founded in 2008, Pebble Tossers membership has grown to 16,000 youth serving 122 nonprofit organizations throughout Metro Atlanta.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Pebble Tossers Run | Walk | Serve 5K/1M & Nonprofit Expo to be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park, is an action-packed, fun, Service Event where youth and families learn how to become active participants in our community. The event provides a meaningful way to commemorate our National Day of Service with community service, family togetherness and healthy lifestyles. The morning starts with a 5K run (a Peachtree Road Race qualifier) and a 1 mile fun run/walk (stroller & dog friendly). Post race, participants will engage in hands-on service and educational activities during the Nonprofit Expo. The Nonprofit Expo will feature 15-20 nonprofits
hosting their own mini-service projects promoting their own missions.

Date:  Saturday, September 12, 7:30 am
Location: Brook Run Park, Dunwoody, GA Registration:
5K race – Adults $25, Kids 12 & under $15 1M race - $15
Charity Runner - $20

Register at Active.com - http://bit.ly/runwalkserve

Website: Run-Walk-Serve

For more information on participating in the race, volunteering for the race or sponsorships, please contact Jennifer Guynn, jguynn@pebbletossers.org or 678-757-5597.

New Dunwoody Chick-fill-A at Perimeter Mall on Hammond Drive opens on Wednesday - the line for free food starts on Tuesday.


Perimeter at Hammond Drive

4350 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30346
Opens: September 02, 2015

Chick-fil-A Operator Alex Rodriguez is excited to serve the Dunwoody Community soon! As a part of our welcome to you, we would like to invite residents from the following zip codes to come and be a part of our opening celebration and participate in the First 100. 

A valid ID is required to participate. If your ID does not reflect your current zip code, please visit our FAQs to see a list of acceptable documents to verify your current residence. We look forward to meeting you!

This restaurant will open on WEDNESDAY. The First 100 promotion will begin at 6:00am on TUESDAY. Click here for more details on the First 100 promotion. 

30002, 30003, 30009, 30010, 30021, 30022, 30023, 30026, 30029, 30030, 30031, 30033, 30036, 30037, 30048, 30060, 30062, 30066, 30067, 30068, 30069, 30071, 30072, 30075, 30076, 30077, 30079, 30080, 30081, 30082, 30084, 30085, 30086, 30091, 30092, 30093, 30095, 30096, 30098, 30099, 30303, 30305, 30306, 30307, 30308, 30309, 30313, 30317, 30318, 30319, 30322, 30324, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30329, 30332, 30333, 30338, 30339, 30340, 30341, 30342, 30345, 30346, 30350, 30356, 30359, 30360, 30362, 30363, 30366, 31141, 31145, 31146

 http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/Openings

City of Dunwoody Key Performance Indicators - Mid-Year 2015

http://www.jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2015/Aug/2015_MidYear_KPI_Report.pdf

Mayor Davis presents his draft 2016 City of Dunwoody Budget

http://www.jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2015/Aug/2016_Proposed_Budget.pdf
Excerpt below - click here for full document.

The list of enhancements to the 2016 budget and their costs can be found on page 35 of the document and I recommend that this be reviewed for both what is there and what is not.   It is this list of new items being proposed that the budget committee will need to be determining if appropriate or if other items are missing.  The budget committee this year is Lynn Deutsch, Doug Thompson, & Jim Riticher and the first formal hearing has been set for the City Council Meeting of October 12th.

We are pleased to submit the following Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget to City Council and residents for examination and consideration. We encourage citizen feedback and involvement throughout the budget process to facilitate the development of an annual fiscal plan which meets the needs of the City of Dunwoody.

The past six years of cityhood have demonstrated the resilience and fortitude of our city and its residents. Starting out in a time of economic uncertainty and market trepidation, the city strategically moved to establish sound, prudent policies and investments which would help bring services and infrastructure back within acceptable levels. Community safety, public amenities and basic fundamentals, which had been long neglected, began being addressed over time thanks in part to pragmatic fiscal planning and prioritization.

Building upon the experience, achievements and fundamentals from the previous six years, the City of Dunwoody is poised to address the critical needs as identified by city staff and our community while systematically implementing plans with a clear focus on the longer term vision for the City. The FY 2016 Budget represents a distinctive path for progress. The directive contained herein provides opportunities for continuous improvement, carefully nurturing the pillars of stability (safety, infrastructure and amenities) while simultaneously balancing strategies for future success. By continually fine tuning the City’s path for progress, we seek to advance the kind of quality of life attributes which have shaped Dunwoody.

Retaining the fiscally conservative approach which fostered previous success, standards which our residents have come to expect, the FY 2016 Budget forecasts conservative revenue growth. This cautious planning affords the City the opportunity to maintain our original 2.74 millage rate while also aligning expectations for modest revenues from property taxes and new building permit collections.

Overall Economic Condition of the City

The City experienced a rise in the tax digest and slower-paced economic growth in 2015. The tax digest rose just slightly and business licenses are falling short of last year’s pace. The diversity in the City’s revenue streams lessens the effects of this slowed growth. Building permits are strong as a result of business relocations and expansions and hotel taxes are on track to exceed budgeted levels. The City’s overall revenues are anticipated to exceed the $31.7 million in revenues appropriated in the FY 2015 Budget.

The City of Dunwoody continues to operate a lean and efficient model of governing with the Split Contract Service model, outsourcing the majority of government service functions. The Split Contract Service model enables the City to maintain a high level of service for its citizens while maintaining expenditures at or near the level established when the City was incorporated in a down economy. With investments in outside training and internal cross-training, the City works diligently to staff departments efficiently.

Budget Brief

The FY 2016 Budget establishes a systematic approach to implementing plans and appropriately preparing for the future identity and long-term viability of the City. This forward-looking approach symbolizes a Path for Progress, a distinctive set of considerations and principals which can help usher upcoming possibility and achievement. While upholding public safety and the continued implementation of successful infrastructure initiatives are tantamount, the FY 2016 Budget provides an opportunity to invest in what has made Dunwoody a “big-city community with a small-town feel.”

The FY 2016 Budget for all appropriated funds totals approximately $34 million in revenues. The defining Path for Progress elements of the FY 2016 Budget include allocating more than $4.5 million for paving, intersection and sidewalk improvements and specific allocations for long-term enhancements such as a connector road, a gateway augmentation and planning and design of future City Hall.

The FY 2016 Budget includes a $1.6 million transfer in General Fund dollars to pay debt associated with Project Renaissance land purchases. These debt payments will be offset with revenue generated from the sale of lots related to Project Renaissance. Of this transfer, $1.4 million represents an additional principal payment toward the variable rate series of this debt.

The FY 2016 Budget also includes $2.3 million in General Fund transfers and $5 million in HOST Fund transfers to our Capital Projects program for the development of critical city assets, infrastructure projects, and public safety enhancements. The Capital Projects list for 2016 includes street resurfacing, sidewalk construction, intersection improvements, park improvements, and public safety equipment.

The FY 2016 Budget utilizes approximately $25,000 of reserves in the Stormwater Utility Fund to speed up the timing of significant improvements to stormwater infrastructure while maintaining the healthy $3 million stormwater fund reserve for catastrophic stormwater events.

The remaining $25 million in revenue is budgeted for operations and cash reserves. Based on Council policy, the FY 2016 Budget anticipates maintaining a reserve sufficient to cover government operations for four months. The FY 2016 Budget maintains the City’s original 2.74 millage rate and does not anticipate an increase in that rate.

FY 2016 Expenditure Highlights

The city’s emphasis on the “Three P’s”: Police, Paving, and Parks has not diminished and is further supported through the FY 2016 Budget. In order to address the needs of the community and the challenges presented for the future the City has created a FY 2016 Budget list of key expenditures and improvements which clearly demonstrate the focus on the needs of today and the Path for Progress.

Paving / Infrastructure

2016 street resurfacing and paving and sidewalk improvements ($2,500,000)
The Local Maintenance Improvement Grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation represents $300,000 of this total
Construction funding for Chamblee Dunwoody Road bicycle and pedestrian improvements ($1,600,000)
 Construction funding for Tilly Mill at North Peachtree intersection improvement ($500,000)
Concept funding for a connector road between the Ashford Dunwoody off ramp and Perimeter Center Parkway ($200,000)
Construction funding for Tilly Mill sidewalk from Womack to North Peachtree ($250,000)
Right Of Way (ROW) acquisition for the Georgetown Gateway Project ($750,000)

Parks

Donaldson Bannister Farm site improvements ($100,000)
Park Surveillance at Georgetown Park & Pernoshal Park ($266,000)

Police Department/Public Safety

Three Patrol Officers, cars and equipment ($395,863)
Detective, car and equipment ($102,154)
Funding for vehicle replacement ($200,000)
End of life replacement for equipment ($211,500)
Average merit-based increase ($248,308)

Community Development

Sign Code Update Project ($25,000)
Permit Tracking Software ($150,000)
Finance & Administration
Facilities Improvement Partnership Program ($250,000)
Planning and design of future City Hall ($250,000)
System upgrades ($39,000)

Stormwater Utility

Street Sweeping ($24,000)

While this is not a comprehensive list of enhancement requests, it does highlight the City’s focus on continued fiscally conservative spending while supporting the primary reasons for becoming a city – namely the local control over safety, infrastructure, and community development to improve the quality of life for all of Dunwoody’s residents, businesses, and visitors.

Issues on the Horizon

In 2015 the City concluded the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to rebid the City of Dunwoody Split Contract Service model by which the City staffs a majority of government service functions. At the conclusion of the RFP selection process, the City decided to bring in-house five formerly contracted positions (Community Development Director, Parks and Recreation Director, Economic Development Director, a part time Economic Development Retention Manager, Human Resources Director and a Human Resources Specialist). These new City employees, along with one new contract service provider chosen from the RFP process presents a change in the makeup of previous staffing structure which will be sensible to monitor and assess for a customer service and performance standpoint.

The economic downturn experienced since 2009 has not yet completely returned Dunwoody revenues to pre-recession peaks and office vacancy rates indicate the economy has not reentered full recovery mode. The potential for rising interest rates and increased construction costs is possible and this could impede borrowing, construction, and development initiatives within the city and region. The City must prepare for general gaps in revenue streams and be mindful of longer-term external factors which may be out of the City’s control but also present issues for prudent economic management.

With future planning and projects being forwarded, it will be especially pragmatic for the City to practice transparency and civic engagement as it moves forward with planning for the design and construction of a City Hall. A City Hall can become a signature facility and a symbol of the character, persona and style of a city and its services. It will be important to work with the community to help determine the best fit, place and design for a government facility. Construction activities, both those performed by the city and those being done by the private sector (i.e. State Farm, Hotel Equities, etc.) may have a tendency to create congestion and deviations in various traffic and business patterns. Also, improvements at the Tilly Mill at North Peachtree intersection will commence in 2015, and carry on into 2016, which could potentially bring additional attention to a high-profile project and heavily trafficked intersection. Construction activity and changes at various locations in the City will need to be monitored and addressed to ensure productivity and efficiency are not compromised.

Elements of the community-developed Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan; Georgetown/North Shallowford Master Plan; and Dunwoody Village Master Plan each will undergo implementation activities and plan upgrades at different phases in the coming year. The continued revitalization efforts for Georgetown and Chamblee Dunwoody corridor will continue throughout 2016 and residents, businesses and visitors will begin to experience the benefits provided through the program. Appropriate and timely community input will need to be gauged and addresses to ensure project successes and continued redevelopment and growth of these areas as outlined in their respective Master Plans.

Because the City’s lawsuit with DeKalb County wrapped up and settled in 2015, the City is lowering its anticipated legal expenses for 2016. The lawsuit was a leading contributor to the City’s legal preparation and activities and a reduction in this expense may leave the City vulnerable to unforeseen lawsuits.

Summary

Careful nurturing, attention and collaboration with the community will enable the City to address future stability and successful program advancement. A Path for Progress is a longer-term objective which comes to fruition with watchful foresight, contentious planning and vigilant implementation. Through the FY 2016 Budget, the City seeks to continue its delivery of quality customer service based upon a financially responsible and fiscally sound framework and provide deliverable solutions for the community’s vision of a better Dunwoody. We look forward to a collaborative review of the FY 2015 Budget proposal over the next two months and appreciate your thoughtful input throughout the process.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Davis                                    Eric Linton, ICMA-CM, AICP
Mayor                                                      City Manager

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Slingshot Entertainment Center with Go-Karts, Ninja Obstacle Course & Bowling is now open.

 

The first of it’s kind, Slingshot Entertainment is the largest indoor entertainment facility in Georgia! Located in the Metro Atlanta area, Slingshot features an interactive bowling lounge, 100% electric high-speed Sodi go-karting, a tri-level kids mega play arena, and the largest indoor ninja obstacle course in the United States!


I happened to be driving by when I saw the new sign with a few cars in the parking lot, so I stopped and discovered they were doing their soft opening today.   I took a quick tour of the Slingshot facility in what use to be the BJ's Wholesale Warehouse located at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard & Jimmy Carter.   The go-karts were going full steam and the bowling was operational with numerous TV's around the entertainment and drinking facility.   The Ninja Obstacle courses (both adult & kids) will be open in a day or two and they are still constructing a huge (told it would be Guinness World Record worthy) play room to keep the little kids occupied while the adults have their own fun.

All entertainment is half price this weekend for their soft opening.    Check it out.

Slingshot Entertainment
6344 Cash Court, Peachtree Corners, GA 30071
http://slingshotplay.com
https://www.facebook.com/slingshotplay
https://twitter.com/slingshotplay