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Cityhood movements continue in DeKalb
by LaTria Garnigan
January 08, 2014 10:56 AM | 2737 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Organizers with Tucker 2014, the Lakeside City Alliance and the City of Briarcliff Initiative are continuing to move full steam ahead with their respective cityhood efforts. Last month, Tucker 2014 organizers released a feasibility study completed by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, which found a potential city of Tucker to be viable, financially feasible and sustainable.

According to a news release, annual revenue would be expected at about $16.6 million annually, with annual expenses of about $13.3 million; there will be a surplus of about $3.3 million; no property tax increase; a balanced mix of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public properties ensuring an equitable tax base and an estimated ratio of about 7,000 citizens per city council member — a 93 percent decrease in the current 100,000-plus citizens per county commissioner.

“This means Tucker can hit the ground running from day one with local expertise that allows the city to standup on a solid foundation,” said Sonja Szubski, organization president. On a potential city of Briarcliff, organizers with that group has its findings from the Carl Vinson Institute, which confirmed the potential city will have about an $8 million annual surplus under current conditions — making it the most financially feasible cityhood planned for central DeKalb County.

According to the report, the total estimated revenue for Briarcliff would be $54.4 million, with estimated expenditures at about $46 million. Briarcliff organizers are looking to create a new city with boundaries inside the Perimeter, between I-85 and the city of Decatur.

“Our proposed city has a strong blend of residential, commercial and industrial areas,” said Allen Venet, organization president. “Our map is smart and does not abandon neighborhoods. We believe the members of this community deserve the chance to vote on Briarcliff cityhood.” The Lakeside City Alliance feasibility study has also been released and according to the report, completed by the Carl Vinson Institute, a new city will not result in a property tax increase and will run a surplus.

According to a news release, the new city will have about 63,000 residents and will generate $35.8 million annually in revenue. Meanwhile, providing city services, including police, parks, public works, zoning and code enforcement, among other basic services, will cost about $29.9 million.

The proposed boundaries of Lakeside would consist of 20 square miles — North Druid Hills Road to the west and southwest, I-85 through DeKalb County to the border with Gwinnett County to the north and I-285 to the Embry Hills community to the northeast. The city will include Mercer University, Northlake Mall, Embry Hills and Toco Hills shopping centers.

As a next step, representatives from the cityhood movements will meet with the DeKalb Senate and House Delegation Thursday at 10 a.m. in Room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the state capitol.

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