Public hearing set on bond for Franklin Road corridor ‘menace’
by Rachel Miller
May 29, 2013 12:20 AM | 3529 views | 18 18 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With Mayor Steve Tumlin looking to ask voters to approve a $35 million ‘quality of life’ bond in November, Franklin Road improvements could lead to a more enticing business atmosphere to attract companies.<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
With Mayor Steve Tumlin looking to ask voters to approve a $35 million ‘quality of life’ bond in November, Franklin Road improvements could lead to a more enticing business atmosphere to attract companies.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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MARIETTA — The City Council has called a special meeting on a proposed $35 million urban redevelopment bond that will include a public hearing Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall.

The council will decide the language of a referendum to go before voters on the Nov. 5 ballot that will ask voters to OK the issuance of a $35 million general obligation bond to finance the redevelopment of rundown areas in the city.

A resolution for the urban redevelopment bond released by the city Tuesday stated that apartments and shopping centers under consideration are dilapidated and suffer from high vacancy rates.

The aging buildings that would be razed to clear the way for new development are “a menace to public health, safety, morals and welfare in their present condition or use,” according to the resolution.

The document identified the Franklin Road corridor and the Canton Road Connector, along with parts of Whitlock Avenue, the Center City Area on Powder Springs Street south of the 120 Loop and North Fairground Street as “slums” in need of redevelopment. The former Lemon Street School would also be in line for $1.2 million in renovations.

The city would use up to $1.5 million for sidewalks and streetscape improvements to Whitlock Avenue.

The public hearing will allow speakers 5 minutes each to address the possible development projects the bond would cover in commercial districts identified as “slum areas” because of the high vacancy rates.

Tax increases for property owners

Beth Sessoms, the city’s economic development manager, said if the term of the bond is 20 years, based on current interest rates, the additional property tax on a $100,000 home would be $47.48 per year.

A $200,000 home would be taxed an additional $94.96 per year, and a $300,000 home would be hit with $142.44 more a year.

“I don’t believe (homeowners) would feel any tax increase because the school bond will be relieved,” Sessoms said about the total reduction by August 2014 of the Marietta City School Bond that funded construction of a $9 million auditorium.

The resolution says the bond would be subject to an interest rate of no more than 8 percent, accruing to a possible $2.42 million in interest payments by 2034.

Once the City Council approves the language of the referendum to appear on ballots this fall, it is required by law to be published once a week for five weeks preceding the election date.

Is it enough?

Ed Hammock, chairman of the Marietta Development Authority, said at the group’s board meeting last week that the amount of the bond should be enough to “get the job done” even if that doubles the cost.

A larger amount of money would ensure that all rental property owners could be bought out on Franklin Road, Hammock said.

Hammock went on to say that if any remain, property managers would raise the rates due to the limited units available in the area and “pocket the profits,” knowing they will still be able to sell later for a high price.

The money would be a loss if the city misses an opportunity to do all that is necessary, Hammock said.

He added, “To do it right is the only way to do it.”

What should the city do about the Franklin Road issue?


Comments
(18)
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marietta homeowner
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June 01, 2013
I am really curious on the relocation of the residents of Franklin Road. Are they going to disperse throughout the rest of the city? If thats the case....I would rather keep them there on Franklin Road. If they would leave the city I would pay double that amount in taxes. I think it is a good idea what we are proposing here but we need to make sure we are taking all precautions to make the whole city an attractive place to live in. If these people all move to roswell rd, cobb pkwy and powder springs st, this would have been a failed project. Also as this poll at the bottom will show, we really have to do away with most of the apartments or none of them. Because people will not want to live in neighborhoods with the leftover apartment complexes next to them. Anyways, would love for a response to my question on these matters so I can be mor einformed on the situation.
apt searcher
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June 03, 2013
I've been searching for an apartment on the west side of 41 in the city. The vacancy rates are extremely low and rent is high.
Common Sense
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May 30, 2013
Add on another million ($36 million total) to extend "new road 2" from Franklin to the I-75 toll entrance/exit ramps. And well worth it, because nothing can redevelop the area faster than direct access to I-75's Lexus lanes. Plus, the new road extension will take out even more blight via right-of-way / eminent domain.
GDKP
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May 29, 2013
According to the Marietta City Council, buildings that would be razed to clear the way for new development are “a menace to public health, safety, morals and welfare."

Really?

Guns Don't Kill People ... Buildings Do!

Actually cars DO kill people. Cars are definitely “a menace to public health, safety, morals and welfare." Why are we expanding the use of cars as fast as we can while places that actually attract intelligent, educated young beautiful people are moving in the polar opposite direction?

Do we just talk the talk here in Marietta about revitalization but then walk the walker and hope for more old folks homes?

Retiree1
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May 29, 2013
One question not addressed: where will the "low rent" people who now live in that area go to live when the apts are razed or redeveloped into higher rent places?? Won't the city just swap out its problem there for a problem somewhere else? Or does the city figure those people will go to Smyrna or South Cobb and therefore be someone else's problem?
berkley1
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May 29, 2013
Why can't the City just condemn them and knock them down? The City has permitted Franklin Road to become the way it is and the city should correct there negligence. There is a code in which property must be kept - how about enforcing that code.
Mike D.
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May 29, 2013
It seems most of the "menace" is being relocated to Kennesaw and West Cobb. That place is turning into South Cobb quicker than you can say "property values!"
Young Man
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May 29, 2013
I for one really hope Marietta passes this. I grew up in Marietta but now would never consider living there. Marietta has the skeleton (Marietta Square & National Park) to be Atlanta's premier suburb--think Decatur with reasonable politics and interstate access. Currently Marietta has nothing to offer young people and young families, the schools aren't that good, there are no apartments with the amenities that young people demand or adequate starter homes, and there aren't good restaurants/bars/shops. What is Marietta's draw? Pass this bond and it shows the private sector that Marietta means business and Marietta actually might see some investment in things that attract young people--which is the only way the city can survive.

If you want to see something scary, look at Marietta's census data from the past 20 years. Yikes!
anonymous
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May 30, 2013
Next time you post young man, how about doing some fact checking first? Our schools consistently rank in the top of the state and nation. 3 elementary schools perform in the top 10% of the state, The Sixth Grade Academy is the best school in Cobb and the middle and high school are offer unbeatable academics. MHS ranks in the top 5% of high schools in the nation. Also have a STEM magnet school that just came in number 1 in the state for performance.

Oh, you're just looking at demographic stats and drawing your own conclusions. I have two children attending MSGA and the Middle School and could not be happier. Don't write about what you clearly don't know about.
Young Man
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May 30, 2013
I have done plenty of research, in fact it is my job to know these things. If you look at the numbers, only one of the Elementary schools is excellent--West Side--the others are way behind. Just look at the Early Intervention Programs numbers, which you can find in the Governor's Report Card (I couldn't hyperlink). I am not saying that you can't get a good education in the system, of course you can, but if I am deciding where to send my kids Walton or Marietta, it is a no brainer.

Ask a Realtor whats an easier sell a home in the Marietta district or one in the Walton district.

I also have attended Marietta City Schools, so I do know what I am talking about.

I am afraid anonymous got ahold of some stats from the 80s...
anonymous
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June 02, 2013
Way behind, you say? Look at the latest CCRPI scores (which are year old data).

MCAA 102.7 highest in the state

WS 91

Marietta 6th grade Academy 89

ALB 87

SR 86.

MMS 85

I too attended MCS and received an excellent education. That doesn't make me an expert. Judging a school system by the EIP numbers based on the old GA report card is just ignorant and presumptuous. Be happy at Walton, but why you feel the need to dump on another school system is baffling.
marietta realtor
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June 02, 2013
I have sold houses in the city of Marietta for the past 25 years. I can tell you the school system is very much in demand. More so now than before. Walton is also in demand, but hey that's nothing new. MCS is definitely growing in demand each year where Walton is not.
ha- really?
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June 02, 2013
Young Man- I moved out of the Walton district and into the City School district of Marietta. My daughter now attends Marietta High and absolutely loves it. We did our homework and found the IB program at MHS can't be beat- even at Walton. EIP students in no way hurts the academic delivery in Marietta Schools. In fact, my oldest at MHS helps to tutor some of kids that need help in elementary schools. She and many others love the environment here in Marietta City. We moved here based on several friends who live and attend the schools in Marietta. We could not be happier, even when we lived back in East Cobb!
stat reader
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June 02, 2013
In 2013 MHS made the list of the top 5 % of high schools in the nation, by National News and World Report. Not the 80's figures. MHS has also made the Newsweek list for the past 6 years. If you like Walton better, that's fine- who cares. But don't put out false information on our school district.
anonymous
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June 03, 2013
Young Man- you need a new job. I would not hire you to mow my grass.
Rick Z
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May 29, 2013
The article says, "A resolution for the urban redevelopment bond released by the city Tuesday stated . . . "

I was curious to read the full wording of this resolution but could not find it on the city's web site. So, if it's been released, where is it? Can anyone point me to the text please?

Good Lord
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May 29, 2013
This year it's “I don’t believe (homeowners) would feel any tax increase because the school bond will be relieved.”

Next year it will be "We need to raise taxes for schools. Please don't remember last year when we took our school money and spent it on adding to the portfolio of city owned slums."

This is working just like Splost.. Property tax $A pays for schools. Property Tax $Splost supplants $A. $A is then spent taking strippers and "massage therapists" to Daufuskie Island for some "golf" and "relaxation"

If only people here knew what the word "supplant" meant! No it's not your grandma's tomatoes!
FROM TEXAS
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May 29, 2013
Let’s see there’s been and dead skeleton of a building for years as you drive from I75 toward Franklin Road. Across the street is a burned out dead hotel so now let’s spend $35,000,000.00 to fix up Franklin Road in a bail out. This will help developers that need some seed money. How about a Franklin Road CID tax from those businesses and this would help pay the $35,000,000.00 dollar bond back quicker? This way you pay the taxpayer back with this great project that would do so much for Franklin Road. At the meeting you should explain the CID tax process that works so well for the chamber and CID groups, for those people that don’t know about the hidden tax that everybody pays when they shop at the malls. Since the taxpayers are funding this it’s only right they receive on going revenue that would go toward their property tax bills you do make it sound like a win with a CID tax that’s right you left that part out didn’t you!!
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