City Approves URA Plan, $17 Million in Improvement Projects

City of South Fulton residents soon will see the start of more than $17 million in capital improvement projects – including renovations of city parks and fire stations and the construction of a new public safety facility – after city leaders approved an urban redevelopment plan Tuesday.

The City of South Fulton City Council unanimously approved the plan and the issuance of 20-year bonds to cover the cost of the proposed projects. The plan also received unanimous approval of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA), which issued the bonds.

“I am excited about the approval of this redevelopment plan,” said Mayor William “Bill” Edwards, who chaired the URA with Councilwoman Catherine Rowell as co-chair. “Now, we can begin making, much needed, improvements to our parks and some of our buildings instead of having to wait until funds are available.”

“With the traditional method of funding, you identify a capital project and, then, you have to raise the money to pay for it,” Edwards added. “Much like the mortgage on your home, this process allows us to complete these improvements faster and more efficiently. It also helps us attain the fund balance were trying to achieve.”

Under the Georgia Urban Redevelopment Act, local governments have the power to rehabilitate and redevelop “pockets of blight,” where deteriorating buildings and infrastructure impact the safety and usefulness of those facilities.  The City of South Fulton’s plan identifies 13 such sections in the city.

Those sections are: URA 1 – Trammell Crow Park, Fire Stations Number 2, 13 and 17; URA 2 – Welcome All Park, Campbell Drive Delano Park and Fire Station Number 1; URA 3 – Old National Highway Park, Infrastructure and Public Safety Facilities; URA 4 – Sandtown Park; URA 5 – Burdett Park; URA 6 – Creel Park and Fire Station 5; URA 7 –Butner Road Public Safety Facility; URA 8 – South Fulton Tennis Center, Canine Dog Crossing Park and Mason Road Park/Field; URA 9 – Old Bill Cook Road and Fire Station 7; URA 10 – Wilkerson Mill Road Park; URA 11 – Oakley Industrial Boulevard  Park; URA 12 – Cedar Grove Park and Fire Station 15; and URA 13 – Cliftondale Park and Fire Station 3.

“The approval of approximately $17 million through the URA represents another historic investment into long-ignored infrastructure city-wide,” said City Manager Odie Donald II. “The planned improvements allow us to put into action our commitment to provide world-class services and amenities for South Fulton residents.”

Included in the plan is a new public safety complex to house the city’s police and fire departments.

“Security is one of our top priorities. We want people to feel safe,” Edwards said. “Along with other investments we’ve made in added personnel and new technology, this new public safety complex will allow us to better serve residents.”

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