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Atlanta calls public vote in May to approve $750 million for mobility, parks, etc

Sidewalks would be improved if Atlanta voters support a referendum in May 2022. (Photo by David Pendered)

By David Pendered

The Atlanta City Council has called two referendums for May 2022 — one to raise up to $350 million with a sales tax to fund transportation improvements, and a $406 million bond package for broad improvements to be financed by property taxes.

The infrastructure bond would finance projects including a 911 center, roads, trails and other projects. The council intends to service the bonds without increasing property taxes.

In other end-of-year business, the council intends to enact a tree protection ordinance and a new schedule for trash collection fees. The council has called a meeting for Dec. 20 to take up these measures.

The council made these arrangements Monday, during a meeting that lasted nearly seven hours.

The project lists for the proposed infrastructure projects have been presented at several public meetings through the autumn.

The project list for the TSPLOST is available here.

The project list for the infrastructure bonds is available here.

The two resolutions calling for the referendums are provided below:

Infrastructure:

“A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBER CARLA SMITH AS SUBSTITUTED BY FINANCE/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TO REGULATE AND PROVIDE FOR THE CALLING OF AN ELECTION, TO AUTHORIZE THE PUBLICATION OF A NOTICE OF AN ELECTION AND TO CALL SUCH ELECTION TO DETERMINE THE ISSUANCE OR NON-ISSUANCE BY THE CITY OF ATLANTA OF GENERAL OBLIGATION PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT BONDS IN AN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED FOUR HUNDRED SIX MILLION DOLLARS $406,000,000.00 INCLUDING FINANCING COSTS,

TO FUND A COMBINED FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS $400,000,000.00 IN PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT CAPITAL OUTLAY PROJECTS. THE PROPOSED GENERAL OBLIGATION PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT BONDS CONSIST OF:

(1) $199,214,567.00 OF BONDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, REPAIR, IMPROVEMENT, CRITICAL CAPITAL MAINTENANCE AND EQUIPPING OF PUBLIC SAFETY, PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITIES, RECREATIONAL, AQUATIC AND GREENHOUSE FACILITIES, A PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING FACILITY, A CENTER FOR DIVERSION SERVICES, BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT FOR USE BY POLICE, FIRE AND RESCUE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS) DEPARTMENTS AND RELATED PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS (THE “PUBLIC SAFETY, PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES”) AND THE COST OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 FOR SUCH FACILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS AND OTHER COSTS INCIDENT THERETO;

(2) $200,785,433.00 OF BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE COSTS OF THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, REPAIR, PLANNING, DESIGN, IMPROVEMENT, CRITICAL CAPITAL MAINTENANCE AND EQUIPPING OF PUBLIC STREETS AND ROADS, PUBLIC PARKS AND RECREATIONAL AMENITIES, AND RELATED PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PUBLIC SIDEWALKS, TRAFFIC CONTROL INFRASTRUCTURE AND EQUIPMENT, CURBING, BRIDGES, VIADUCTS, GREENWAY SYSTEMS, PLAYGROUNDS, POOLS, TRAILS, PATHS, BICYCLE AND TRANSIT LANES, AND SAFETY LIGHTING (THE ROADS, SIDEWALKS, PATHWAYS, TRAILS AND RELATED TRANSPORTATION, PARK AND PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS) AND THE COST OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 FOR SUCH FACILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS AND OTHER COSTS INCIDENT THERETO;

AND TO PROVIDE THE DATES AND THE MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST THE BONDS, IF ISSUED, SHALL BEAR AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE MATURITIES OF THE BONDS;

TO PROVIDE FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF AN ANNUAL TAX FOR PAYING THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE BONDS, IF APPROVED BY THE VOTERS;

TO PROVIDE THAT ANY OR ALL OF SUCH BONDS MAY BE MADE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION PRIOR TO MATURITY; TO PROVIDE THAT THE BONDS, IF APPROVED BY THE VOTERS, MAY BE ISSUED, SOLD AND DELIVERED AT ONE TIME OR IN SEPARATE SERIES FROM TIME TO TIME; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

TSPLOST:

“A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBER CARLA SMITH AMENDED BY TRANSPORTATION (#3) AND FINANCE/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES CALLING FOR THE IMPOSITION, BY THE FULTON COUNTY COMMISSION, OF A TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAX (“TSPLOST”), TO FUND TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES AND A REFERENDUM ELECTION THEREON; TO APPROVE THE SUBMISSION OF A LIST OF TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS AND PURPOSES TO FULTON COUNTY; TO SPECIFY THE AGGREGATE MAXIMUM COSTS OF SUCH PURPOSES TO BE FUNDED BY THE TSPLOST; TO SPECIFY THE MAXIMUM PERIOD OF TIME THE TSPLOST WILL BE IMPOSED; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

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David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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