Avondale Estates to purchase small piece of property near 2950 Franklin StreetThe Avondale Estates City Commission is moving forward with acquiring the property at 2950 Franklin Street by eminent domain. Image obtained via Google Maps
Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates plans to purchase a small piece of property that is located north of the town green from Fenner Dunlop for $23,000. The City Commission approved the purchase on Jan. 12.
Until performing title work, the city had not identified the owner of the land. The property is located north of 2950 Franklin Street, at the end of Lake Street and next to the Avila property.
“I think any opportunity for us to acquire any pieces of property in that location is a benefit to the city as we envision what that area can look like, specifically as we finish completion of the park and how slow the development is around it. I think it’s a good thing for the city at a good price,”Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher said.
The city needs the property in order to finish construction of the town green. City Attorney Stephen Quinn explained that when Fenner Dunlop closed their plant about a decade ago and sold its property, the legal description stating what was sold, omitted a small area.
“As far as I know, that was just an error at the time. This property is at the very north of the 2950 Franklin Street property that we previously purchased,” Quinn said. “If you were to look at it on the DeKalb County tax map, it would seem to be a part of that parcel.”
In February 2021, the City Commission moved forward with their intent to acquire the property at 2950 Franklin Street by eminent domain. Lifeline Animal Adoption Center was previously located at that property. When the city looked at the deeds and legal descriptions, they found the previous owner of the property never owned this small piece of the land.
“Then you’ll find further that when the holding companies related to Avila purchased their assemblage from Fenner Dunlop, this was not included,” Quinn said. “So Fenner Dunlop owned this little piece of property all this time and didn’t even know it. We contacted them and explained the need.”
He added that Fenner Dunlop was very accommodating and agreed to sell the city this property.
During the work session on Jan. 12,City Manager Patrick Bryant gave another update on the city’s police department following its failure to receive accreditation from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and as the city searches for its next police chief.
The application period for the police chief position closed Jan. 7. The applications, cover letters and resumes have been given to the GACP, so they can narrow down to eight candidates who will be put through a one-day competency assessment.
“Following that assessment, they will then narrow that candidate list down to three or four persons that they recommend we interview,” Bryant said. “I am currently working with another consultant to help develop some more subjective criteria for that interview process, given the fact that most of the objective criteria will be addressed in the assessment conducted by the Georgia Chiefs. Once that is developed, we will convene the interview of those candidates.”
Bryant will put together a panel of community members to help him interview the candidates. The community members will provide Bryant with feedback to help determine whom to offer the position to. While that process is going on, Bryant will also bring forward drafts of the request for proposals for third party review to the City Commission at either the next work session or the following one.
“Once we publish those RFPs, we hope to onboard the next police chief so that upon selection of those third parties, the chief is already in place to assist that process,” Bryant said.
In other business, on Friday, Jan. 21, the city announced it has extended temporary service changes through the end of the month. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain the health and safety of city staff, the city will continue with the following temporary changes in operations:
– Public in-person attendance at all meetings is suspended, and City Hall is closed to the public.
– The Municipal Court is suspended at this time.
– Public works employees are working with staggered crews and at a lower capacity.
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