Agreement apparently reached between City of Atlanta and APS on BeltLine paymentsAtlanta school board member Matt Westmoreland and Courtney English, chairman of the Atlanta Board of Education, at recent annual meeting of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (Photo by Maria Saporta)
By Maria Saporta and Dave Williams
It appears as though an agreement has been reached between the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Board of Education on payments the city owes with the tax allocation district with the Atlanta BeltLine.
The Atlanta City Council is expected to be presented a resolution from the office of Mayor Kasim Reed at today’s Council meeting.
According to people close to the situation, the agreement calls for the city to make a schedule of payments to the Atlanta Public Schools.
This issue has caused tension between the city and its public school system for more than two years. It has had a ripple effect in preventing other collaborations – such as the selling of school properties of which the City of Atlanta holds the deed.
It is not known whether this agreement will address the sale of school-owned property, but it is certainly seen as removing a major impediment that had caused a rift between the mayor and APS leaders.
“Nothing yet on APS/BeltLine,” according to Anne Torres, a City Hall spokeswoman, in a text earlier today.
Several people close to the situation said that it was important for the city and the school system to reach an agreement before the first of the year because that’s when the city was scheduled to make another payment to APS. The city was behind in its payments because it believed the long-standing agreement was not a reasonable one when considering the real estate recession.
APS said it was an agreement that the city should honor and that it needed those revenues to run the school system.