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Avondale Estates City Commission removes Banbury Cross from paving proposal

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Avondale Estates City Commission removes Banbury Cross from paving proposal

The Avondale Estates City Commission discussed a residential paving project during a work session on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at city hall. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

This story has been updated.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, at its Feb. 22 work session, removed Banbury Cross from a list of residential roads to be paved. 

The roads proposed to be paved were Viscount Court, Nottingham Drive, Clarendon Avenue, Banbury Cross and Parry Street.

The city commission budgeted $1.2 million for curb, sidewalk, and pavement repair that would be done over the coming year as part of the capital program from 2023-2024. The city issued two requests for proposals for the work – one for curb and sidewalk work and the other for paving. 

“In addition to the $1.2 million, we also had budgeted $55,000 for Parry Street, which is the commercial road that we also included with the residential roads in this RFP,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said. 

 Bryant presented three options for the paving work: 

— If the city were to do all of the roads, the project would be about $115,860 over budget. 

— Removing Banbury Cross would put the work about $54,761 over budget. 

— If Banbury Cross remained in the proposal but Nottingham Drive was removed, the proposal would be under budget by about $94,416. 

Bryant recommended, and the city commission agreed to remove Banbury Cross from the proposal. 

“Nottingham was the priority No. 1 of the residential streets. It was based on the amount of traffic that goes onto Nottingham and the condition of the road itself,” Bryant said. “That was the highest priority of the residential streets, followed by Viscount and Clarendon.”

He recommended removing Banbury Cross due to some recent patch work, the street is small, and it’s lightly traveled. 

Commissioner Lisa Shortell added the road is a dead end. 

The commission did not vote on a contract on Feb. 22. The commission is expected to vote on a contract that does not include Banbury Cross at the next regular meeting.

Bryant also added that the city can easily absorb a cost overrun of about $54,000 without dipping into the capital fund. The city has about an additional $2 million in the capital fund for potential cost overrun of the U.S. 278 complete streets project and other capital needs. 

The city could use funds from the Urban Redevelopment Agency bond anticipation note and American Rescue Plan Act funding. 

“Here are the knowns: We know that we are slightly under budget for right of way acquisitions, so no cost overrun there,” Bryant said. “But we don’t know is what funds will be necessary to fulfill the construction contract for 278. I am hesitant to recommend to [the city commission] digging into those funds in any substantial way.”

The city doesn’t know what the cost of 278 will be yet. 

In other sidewalk news, the city commission approved a contract with the Chattahoochee Group for sidewalk and curb repairs primarily in residential areas. The work is expected to begin in early March and be finished within a month.

The proposal came in under budget and “all high and medium-priority infrastructure from the inventory will be repaired,” Bryant previously said.

The total cost of the proposal with contingency built in was $185,925.

“The curbs and sidewalks identified were selected based on an inventory of need,” Bryant said. 

The rating system is based on the extent of deterioration based on data collected from public feedback and a staff inventory. The commission emphasized that they would share with the public when and where work would be taking place as the proposal becomes more concrete.

In other business:

– The city commission approved a resolution to become an Atlanta Regional Commission Green City, which will allow the city to work with the ARC to identify areas to move forward with green initiatives and achieve the Bronze Green Communities Certification.

The program outlines a number of sustainable and green initiatives the city can do to become a member of the program. 

– The commission also discussed a contract with Howard Technology Solutions to provide security cameras and access controls at the Town Green, city hall and public works. 

The city released an RFP that would provide video coverage at those three facilities and new access controls at city hall “as part of the reaction to the report from the Georgia Chiefs of Police regarding evidence security and financial security,” Bryant said. 

Howard would provide 17 camera systems – seven at city hall, four at public works and six at the town green to provide video footage of activities for up to 90 days. The system would be completely cloud based. The proposal includes a seven unit access control system at city hall and those areas would be accessed by key card. 

“The equipment has both a five-year warranty and a five-year maintenance, which is covered within the bounds of the proposal amount. All of that came in significantly under our anticipated budget,” Bryant said. 

The proposal amount is about $118,000 and the city had budgeted $150,000.

– In response to a public comment, Bryant noted the city’s annual financial report was not submitted by the required deadline and will be filed by the end of the month. 

When this happens, a city becomes non-compliant and may not be eligible to receive new grant funding from the state. Bryant said the city is not in jeopardy of any punishment or ineligibility for grant funding the city has already received. 

“We didn’t anticipate applying for any new grant funding during the period of noncompliance,” Bryant said. “The noncompliance is not the fault of anyone at the city.”

The city commission hired a consultant to prepare the 2021 audit when the city didn’t have a finance director. 

“That person submitted all of the required documents to the auditor that was hired by the city in October, well in advance of the time necessary for the auditor to have completed the audit by the extended deadline that was requested by the city,” Bryant said. “For reasons unidentified by the auditing firm, they were late in completing our audit.”

Once the audit is filed, the city will be in compliance and all issues will be resolved, he added.

The city commission will meet next on Wednesday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m. at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated a street name. The story has been updated with the correct information. 

Contributor Jaedon Mason contributed to this article. 

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