Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DeKalb awards City of Dunwoody $4 million for dropping parks bond lawsuit.

This is a good outcome for all the residents of Dunwoody & DeKalb as both sides were paying lawyers for a dispute over bond funds going back to 2001 & 2006.

Well before the City of Dunwoody was created, I was a neighbor to Brook Run Park and was unhappy about the DeKalb County's lack of fulfilling the promises for needed improvements to the park even after 11.5 million dollars was promised.  I started attending county meetings in order to ask about missing bond funds, I pointed out numerous deficiencies in the parks that needed fixing, I did open records requests and then would blog on the subject posting the public county documents for all to see.

The long document below from the 2006 bond parks report and maybe more impotently the Excel file created by DeKalb County employees were very important documents for our case and I was glad that I had them.   Now that this unpleasantness is over, Dunwoody will receive $4 million of the $7 million that we were suing for and this is a fair settlement for this to now be over.

The city had budgeted 3.2 million for the new park on Shallowford where the Emory hospital had been and now DeKalb will be paying for that improvement from the 2006 parks bond that we will still be paying for the next 20? years.  The City will be in charge of construction and when complete, DeKalb Commissioners will help us cut the ribbon as this park is as much a DeKalb park as it is a Dunwoody park.  DeKalb will also be paying for the City of Dunwoody to update the City Parks Master Plan as well putting forth funds for the Great Lawn.

All in all, this is a glorious day as both Dunwoody and DeKalb are back in the business of improving our communities instead of just paying lawyers.

A special thank you to CEO Lee May, Commissioner Nancy Jester and the entire DeKalb BOC for making this happen along with the Dunwoody team of Mayor Davis, Councilman Doug Thompson & everyone else who was involved.

Below are few historic records and other than that I am looking forward to putting this matter past us so that we as a community can start thinking about the update to the Parks Master Plan and what would be best for our community moving forward.

July 16, 2007 Accounting of 11.5 Million, Shade/Benches, Speed

Feb 12, 2009 DeKalb County Parks Bond Fund Status Report - 2006 Parks Bond

I have obtained the January 2009, DeKalb County Bond Fund Status Report which shows that Brook Run Park in Dunwoody has been slated to receive $11.5 Million dollars from the last parks bond referendum and that there is still a fund balance just shy of $7 Million dollars that is still owed to the park.
April 20, 2010 Legislature proposes transfer of parks to Dunwoody along with all bond proceeds.


Max said...

This is a good day in Dunwoody and for DeKalb County, as well. Lawsuits like this are a non-productive use of tax revenues, unless you are representing either side - then, these actions are a bottomless billable trough for the law firm.

I am pleased to see that Council and Mayor were diligent in pursuing this matter.

Sen. Dan Weber, and others, ought to be recognized for their vision of a Great Lawn at Brook Run. This will be a wonderful gathering place and will help cement a sense of place for all in Dunwoody. I cannot wait to bring the dogs up there for a picnic!

As we move toward reviewing the Park Plan we should all make an effort to have our opinions heard. The desire to have outdoor recreational facilities like ball fields is very important, yet, any such plan ought to consider traffic, parking, and what amenities, if any, all constituents desire. The revised Park Plan is a critical component in this process.

Get involved and make your opinion count!

Paula Caldarella said...

Hopefully, now, Dunwoody can return its attention to creating some active athletic fields for our kids, i.e., soccer, lacrosse, softball. It's embarrassing that our city, with as many older children active in team sports that Dunwoody has nothing to offer them.

Max said...

Sandy Springs was able to create a great athletic field at their Morgan Falls park, using slightly more than 27 acres. Brook Run is just over 100 acres and is actually a bit larger than Piedmont Park, which has ball fields.

A good plan should incorporate all of these uses, as there is is plenty of land. It is a good day in Dunwoody!

Bob Fiscella said...

John - congrats to the entire council on securing the funding - job well done!

I do agree that we need an all-purpose, artificial turf athletic field at Brook Run. My son plays high school baseball at Dunwoody on the freshman team, and for most of the spring season they did not have access to a field (the varsity and JV dominate the only baseball field at the high school, and Dunwoody Seniors was completely booked up). Ditto for the Dunwoody High Lacrosse team - which doesn't have a field to practice on.
An all-purpose field - with designated times for Dunwoody teams - is not only an asset to the community, but is much needed!

Max said...

Repost from Dunwoody E-News:

"Pernoshal Park Groundbreaking Ceremony Thursday, June 4

The City of Dunwoody is hosting a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Thursday, June 4, for Pernoshal Park, the City of Dunwoody’s newest park.

The five acre park, located on the 19-acre Project Renaissance property, will feature a terraced lawn, leading to an open play field, a basketball court and two smaller sport courts, a pavilion, and a .5 mile segment of the Dunwoody Trail. The park is located at 1959 Pernoshal Court and the event begins at 12 p.m. We hope you will join us for this special occasion!"

"an open play field, a basketball court and two smaller sport courts" Isn't that great, new places for kids and kids at heart to 'get sweaty.'