Type to search

Tucker gets Public Works department on the road

Business Trending Tucker

Tucker gets Public Works department on the road

L to R, Council Member Anne Lerner, Director of Public Works Isri Shankar, Council Member Noelle Monferdini, Deputy Director of Public Works Jeff Mueller. Photo by Sara Amis

Tucker, GA — The Tucker City Council met on April 10 and voted unanimously to create a stormwater utility. 

Tucker voters approved a referendum in November 2022 for the city to take over storm water and road maintenance. A stormwater utility will allow the city to charge fees to fund the service.

“We are in the storm water and road maintenance business, or we will be July 1,” Mayor Frank Auman said.

Auman introduced the new Director of Public Works, Isri Shankar, and Deputy Director Jeff Mueller.

Shankar’s first request from the city council was to approve contracts to acquire and implement Cityworks software to manage service requests and work orders for the new Public Works department.

Shankar said that his department has been working with DeKalb County’s public works department to make sure the transfer goes smoothly.

In another culmination of months of work, Economic Development Manager Jackie Moffo presented the final draft of the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, which was unanimously approved.

Councilmember Anne Lerner said that she had heard a lot of interest and favorable commentary from other municipalities and counties in the Atlanta metro area.

“Word on the street is, we are ready,” said Lerner.

In other business:

— The council approved a contract with Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. for right of way acquisition services in the amount of $57,950. City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt said that a number of driveway easements were necessary to complete the Mountain Industrial Boulevard at Hugh Howell Road intersection improvement.

— The council aapproved a change to the framework agreement for a trail from downtown Tucker to Northlake, which significantly reduces the amount of money that the city must provide for the design. The city previously awarded the contract for professional design services to Heath & Lineback for a total of $1,969,796.

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s a big project,” said Hildebrandt.

Hildebrant said that the Atlanta Regional Commission originally authorized $560,000 of federal funding for the engineering design of this project, leaving the remaining $1.4 million to be locally funded. However, city staff applied for additional Transportation Improvement Program funding, which has been approved. The new federally funded amount is $1.4 million, and the remaining balance will be funded by the City in the amount of $519,795 and the Tucker Northlake CID will provide $50,000.

“What we don’t need for the engineering phase, we’ll request to be transferred to the construction phase,” said Hildebrandt.

Other possible sources of funding for the construction phase are the city’s capital budget, additional grants, and the city’s upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

“This is a fantastic project,” Councilmember Noelle Monferdini said.

Hildebrandt offered updates on trail segments that have been completed, including the Tucker downtown trail and a section along Hugh Howell from Mountain Industrial Blvd. to Marthasville Ct.

Hildebrandt also described the next trail segments that the city is ready to move past the concept phase, including a boardwalk loop in Kelley Cofer Park, the next section along Hugh Howell from Marthasville Ct. to Silver Hill Rd., and a greenway along South Fork Peachtree Creek.

Tucker’s current SPLOST expires in 2024. Another has already been approved by the state legislature, and the next step will be for the city council to create a project list to be voted on by the public in November 2023. 20% of the SPLOST funds will be available for sidewalks, paths, and bikeways.

A Trail Master Plan outlining proposed trail routes is available on the City of Tucker website. 

— The council approved a contract amendment in the amount of $92,000 for the Chamblee-Tucker Road lane diet. Hildebrandt said that the project came in over budget in this case, but pointed out that other projects had come in significantly under budget.

“There was a sinkhole that nobody knew was there. That’s why it cost more than we expected,” Lerner pointed out.

City Manager Tami Hanlin presented the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2024 to the city council. Hanlin said that the budget is not yet balanced, but will be.

Hanlin said that the first budget workshop will be held May 1. The tentative budget along with a schedule of hearings and a timeline for approval will be posted on the city website.

— In parks and recreation news, the council approved a contract for park maintenance with OPTECH in the amount of $716,352 per year. The contract will be renewable for up to an additional four years. 

— The council approved a change to the water and sewer project for Fitzgerald Park in the amount of $65,312 for additional substantial rock and dirt removal.

Director of Parks and Recreation Rip Robertson said that Helix Group, which is carrying out the work, found much more rock than the initial testing indicated, including some “automobile sized” chunks with blasting caps left over from previous attempts to remove them.

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastodon. To follow us, visit https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit https://post.news/@/decaturish.

Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish.