By David Pendered
Brookhaven would pay $683,000 to provide city services to two areas that have asked to be annexed into the city, according to a recent report from the city manager.
The cost would cover compensation and equipment for five additional police officers needed to serve Executive Park and the campus of Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, as well as for one code enforcement officer.
The report does not distinguish between annual compensation costs, such as salaries, insurance and other potential benefits, and the cost of buying vehicles and equipment for the additional employees.
The city’s website does not appear to provide information on the annual taxes and fees Brookhaven expects to collect if the council approves the annexations.
The report is dated Oct. 30. That’s more than three weeks before the city council voted Monday in a special-called meeting to postpone a vote on the proposed annexations until the council’s next scheduled meeting, on Dec. 2.
A statement issued by the city does not indicate there’s any correlation between expenses associated with the proposed annexations and the deferral.
Here are two comments provided in the city’s statement:
- “We want to continue the process of making sure the annexation request is thoroughly vetted before making a final decision,” said Mayor J. Max Davis.
- “As council, we want to make sure we are thinking regionally about our decisions. Our deferral allows local neighborhoods to further consider possible inclusion in this annexation process,” said Councilmember Joe Gebbia, [who initiated the council’s decision to defer the vote until Dec. 2.]
The proposed annexation is part of the municipalization movement that’s been rolling across DeKalb County for about a decade.
One bill has already been pre-filed in the Georgia Legislature on an issue related to incorporation.
State Rep. Rahn Mayo (D-Decatur) filed House Bill 11 on Monday. Mayo could not be reached Wednesday morning to describe the purpose of the bill.
Mayo’s proposal appears to address the relation between the boundaries of a potential new city and an existing city. The proposal provides for four amendments to existing law.
One amendment states that the boundary of a new city cannot touch the boundary of an existing city. Another amendment addresses the ability of a city to annex property.
Meanwhile, Legislature is expected to take up proposals for new cities in the region stretching from Brookhaven’s eastern border, which now ends at I-85, northeast through the Lakeside/Northlake Mall area and ending at Tucker.
In addition, Emory University and the nearby Druid Hills neighborhood have begun talks with Atlanta to be annexed into the city.
The report from Brookhaven City Manager Marie Garrett addresses nine issues related to the proposed annexation of Executive Park and CHOA. Here are the two services that would cost the city additional expenses, according to the report:
- “Public Safety: The City of Brookhaven has a public safety office with 58 sworn officers and provides a three minute response time for emergency calls. The city currently operates zoned policing. As a result of the proposed annexation and impact on services, the city will need to hire an additional five officers and purchase the outfitted police vehicles, uniforms, computers and ancillary equipment to support this service. The cost to provide this service is $583,000. The city has informed the annexation applicants of CHOA and Executive Park that they will need to advance the funds to pay for the necessary manpower and equipment.”
- “Code Enforcement: The City of Brookhaven currently utilizes in-house code enforcement officers that perform inspections, provide counsel, issue citations, and testify in court. The City currently contains approximately 11.3 square miles. As a result of the addition of CHOA (59.5344 acres) and Executive Park (106.49 acres), the current level of code enforcement coverage is not sufficient to monitor this area; therefore, the city will need to add one-full time code enforcement officer. The cost of the officer along with the vehicle and ancillary equipment is projected to be $100,000.”