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Avondale Estates City Commission sets qualifying fees for municipal election

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Avondale Estates City Commission sets qualifying fees for municipal election

The Avondale Estates City Commission met on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at City Hall to discuss setting the municipal election qualifying fees and a contract for fireworks during the regular meeting. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, during its Jan. 25 meeting, set the qualifying fees for the municipal elections in November.

According to the resolution, individuals running for mayor would pay a qualifying fee of $216, and candidates for commissioner would pay $144. The city has to set the qualifying fee by Feb. 1. Qualifying will be in August and the election will be on Nov. 7.

“The state requires us to charge a percentage of the stipend received for each position to be charged to any candidate who wishes to qualify. That percentage is 3%,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said.

Mayor Jonathan Elmore and Commissioners Brian Fisher and Dee Merriam are up for reelection this year.

In other business:

– The city commission approved a contract for the Fourth of July fireworks display. Bryant said the city has budgeted $26,000 for the Fourth of July fireworks. The contract increased by $1,000 from 2022.

– During the work session, the city commission discussed right-of-way decisions related to the U.S. 278 road diet project. The city is working to acquire a portion of the Banjo Coffee property.

“For more specificity with regard to this parcel, the proposed taking would eliminate…the westernmost ingress, egress point on 278, so that the new ingress, egress points for this property would be the easternmost 278 point and an exit out onto Locust Street,” Bryant said.

The property has been valued at $127,405. The city has tried to negotiate a regular transaction with the property owner.

“However, we proposed a final deadline to do so before recommending to you guys that we move forward with eminent domain of [Tuesday], and this property owner was non-responsive,” Bryant said. “Like we have in the past, I recommend moving forward with the eminent domain procedure, but allowing the property owner to negotiate a regular transaction during the period before an eminent domain claim can be filed with the court.”

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.

The city commission did not take any formal action on the eminent domain procedure, but will likely consider the item at its next meeting on Feb. 8.

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