Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Legislature proposes transfer of parks to Dunwoody along with all bond proceeds.

See blog post and spreadsheet from Feb 12, 2009

There are currently several bills in the Georgia Legislature (SB 58 as amended & HB 203) which are on parallel tracks, tied together proposing a transfer of park property from DeKalb County, who can not legally operate a park within city limits, to the City of Dunwoody, at a purchase price of $100 per acre.   These bills also schedule a future transfer of fire stations located in the City (if so needed) at a transfer rate of $5,000 per station.  An amended Senate Bill 58 passed out of committee Monday afternoon by an 8 to 4 vote and looks to be headed to the House for a final determination.

House Bill 203 has much of the same language as SB 58 approved in committee but it allows development authorities to bond without a referendum.  HB 203 also passed out of committee last week and should be headed to the Senate for a final determination in the last three days of the session.

Both bills state that bond proceeds from prior bond referendums must be paid as the issuer intended therefore by my calculation and by DeKalb County's own records, Brook Run Park was promised $11.5 million dollars and it is still owed about $7 million.  

Dunwoody residents have been paying for these parks for years and the transfer price of $100 per acre was based on the same solution that Sandy Springs paid to Fulton to transfer their properties.  The only major difference once Dunwoody takes over the operation is that the City of Dunwoody will be responsible for all up keep and maintenance of park facilities; as well as staffing on going endeavors like the Brook Run Skate Park.  Since the City of Dunwoody will also be paying for the 2006 Parks Bond referendum for many years to come, the funding promised to the park should rightfully remain with in the community who will be paying those taxes.

If these two bills pass and the park property is transferred to the City of Dunwoody, I along with the Mayor and City Council, look forward to taking quick action on making basic improvements that have been lacking such as proper building security, increased park benches, a complete safety audit and repaired water fountains.  After that I will be looking forward to holding public meetings to see what the community would like to do with its parks system; since I don't think an aviary is going to cut it.


silverlining said...

If you look at the spreadsheet in the blog, it also shows 28 million for land acquisitions in Dekalb County. 8 mill was already identified (none of it in Dunwoody area). 20 mill was in reserve. My point is, shouldn't the City of Dunwoody which has about 5% of Dekalb's pops be in line for 1.5 million of this land acquisition fund? Especially since several studies have shown how we are below avg in park land. I guess if I were Dekalb County I would argue that we are already getting our fair share of the total bond proceeds.

Lastly, the face value of the bond offering was 230 mil., but at the interest rate offered (7.5%), the proceeds should have been more. What happens to that money or am I missing something?

Bob Fiscella said...

It sounds very promising - I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Dunwoody Mom said...
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