Although they were buzzing about the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Roswell City Council members and other local officials still discussed issues within their own jurisdiction during the “Meet Your Elected Officials” public forum at Country Club of Roswell on Sunday afternoon.
Despite the open invitation for local citizens to rub elbows with their elected officials, only a handful of people showed up.
One issue discussed was the general revenue bond discussed during Mayor Jere Wood’s recent state of the city address. There will be hearings and the bond, tentatively set for $24 million, will come before the voters during November.
“I am in favor of (issuing the bonds) as long as we can keep it within the millage rate that we have presently,” said City Councilwoman Nancy Diamond. “I think it gives us the chance to do some game-changing improvements that will help us with economic development. And I think that is where we really need to focus.”
Some of the suggested improvements will be $4 million for Riverside Park projects, $8 million for synthetic turf athletic fields, $3 million to relocate the fire station off Holcomb Bridge Road, $8.5 million to connect Atlanta Street to Mansell Road near Wal-Mart and about $3 million for street-side improvements, among other items.
“We’ve been working on this bond issue for a year, or year and a half,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans, “We’ll be paying off our current bonds in 2014 and 2015 and the bond method is a way to get major projects accomplished in the city that sometimes can be difficult to fit in annual budgets. This is what we can do to help us with our infrastructure throughout the city.”
“The changes should draw some quality development,” Diamond said.
Orlans also mentioned that city council members and other citizens are planning a trip to Greenville, SC, which is considered a model for small-city economic development. Orlans hopes even city-council critics join the trip to South Carolina.
Other city council members in attendance were Mayor Jere Wood, Becky Wynn and Rich Dippolito. State Senator John Albers, Representative Lynne Riley, Representative Wendell Willard and Representative Harry Geisinger were also present. The forum was sponsored by Roswell residents Roger Wise, Jr. and Joe Piontek.