When Roswell voters go to the polls in November, in addition to national and state races, they'll now also decide one very crucial local issue - to bond, or not to bond.
Hoping to scratch some capital improvement projects off the city's lengthy to-do list, Roswell City Council approved sending a $14.7 million bond referendum to voters during the upcoming election.
The city held a special called work session last week on Aug. 6, . But after further committee meetings and work sessions, Roswell City Councilman Rich Dippolitto proposed narrowing the list further to $14.7 million in projects "we can fund immediately," including:
- Fire Station #4 - to replace the current East Roswell station - $1.5 million
- Holcomb Bridge Road/Ga. 400 Improvements - four city funded projects will alleviate congestion at Roswell's Ga. 400 interchange - $6 million
- Eves Road Multi-Use Path and Bike Lanes - $1.2 million
- Holcomb Bridge Road Multi-Use Trail Segment - $1.5 million
- Adult Recreation Center - expansion of current Grimes Bridge Road facility to include an indoor therapeutic pool - $2.5 million
- Synthetic Turf Fields - three artificial turf fields - $2 million
These are projects that are already moving forward and are perfect for the bond, said Dippolito.
The new list removes originally proposed enhancements to the and an undefined economic development "anchor" project; but council said those items may be part of a larger improvement project within the historic district not far down the road. There will be a work session to discuss the potential for a newly connective intersection, or "civic square" in front of city hall on Aug. 27.
Finance Director Keith Lee told council that, if approved, the proposed bond would not require an increase in the millage rate since the city would be essentially eliminating current debt and taking on new debt at a lower rate during 2013 and 2014.
Resident Jake Lilley was critical of sending a bond to voters and asked council to find alternative methods of funding the most important projects. and others questioned why the city could not simply pay off current bonds and fund improvement projects with the annual savings.
In response, several council members noted the projects on the list to bond had been in the queue for years and pushing them off another 10-12 years in order to "pay-as-you-go" could be detrimental to Roswell, which is trying to keep up with local growth and economic competition from neighboring cities.
"This is how we’re going to make Roswell an even better place to live," said Councilwoman Becky Wynn.
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