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Avondale Estates City Commission approves agreement with DeKalb for greenspace

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Avondale Estates City Commission approves agreement with DeKalb for greenspace

City of Avondale Estates. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates will soon be getting more greenspace. At the Sept. 28 city commission meeting, the board approved an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County for the greenspace known as Lanier Gardens.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners also has to approve the agreement.

If the agreement is approved by both entities, the city would own the 1.3 acre property, which is located at 2699 E. College Ave, 714 Arcadia Ave. and 752 Arcadia Ave. The city would agree to maintain the property as a public park and greenspace for city and county residents.

According to the draft agreement, a small portion of the greenspace is needed for right-of-way in connection with the city’s complete streets project. The complete streets project is a road diet of U.S. 278 that will reduce the street from five lanes to three lanes between Sam’s Crossing and Ashton Place.

The corridor will have a 10-foot pathway throughout, and a five-foot landscape zone will run between the sidewalk and the edge of the curb. The project will include repaving U.S. 278, re-striping the road and upgrade all the traffic signals. The project is scheduled to go out for bid in the first quarter of 2023, which is contingent on finalizing right-of-way plans and approvals from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Avondale Estates requested that the county convey Lanier Gardens to the city three years ago.

“However, shortly after we made the request, the county Board of Commissioners voted to convey the park to the city and then the park space was held up in legal red tape for the better part of the last three years,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said.

The space is near the Willis and is a gateway to the city, Commissioner Dee Merriam said.

“It was donated to DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department, I believe, back in the 1970s by an adjacent property owner,” Merriam said. “Mrs. Lanier has a florist shop on that corner and donated it because she wanted to do something for DeKalb County, so it has been a DeKalb County Park all these years.”

She added that the park has more significance for the city than it does for the county. Obtaining the park was also an action item in the city’s comprehensive and downtown master plans.

During the work session, the board discussed installing electric vehicle chargers in the rear of the city hall parking lot. A single post 1.5 kilowatt dual charger is needed to support the police department’s three electric vehicles for daytime charging. Three bids were gathered ranging from $11,485 to about $20,105.

The city has installed a charging station at the police chief’s home and is working to install chargers at the homes of the two other officers who have an electric vehicle.

“However, as we discussed when we were making this decision, we need to install some chargers here at city hall, rapid chargers that would allow us to charge the vehicles in less time than the chargers do at the home,” Bryant said.

The charger would only be available for the police department to use, but the city intends to seek quotes for a public charger, he added. The police department will be given RFID cards specific to the three electric vehicles, which will be needed to use the chargers.

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