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Tucker takes over public works from DeKalb County on July 1

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Tucker takes over public works from DeKalb County on July 1

FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: L to R, Council Member Alexis Weaver, Council Member Cara Schroeder, Council Member Roger Orlando, Mayor Frank Auman, Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner, Council Member Noelle Monferdini, Council Member Virginia Rece. Photo by Sara Amis

This story has been updated. 

Tucker, GA — The Tucker City Council met on May 22 and began amending the city charter to raise the ad valorem millage rate cap from 1 to 3 mils.

This change was voted on by the public last November as part of the referendum authorizing the city to take over public works from DeKalb County. The city has already hired a director of public works and is gearing up to take over road and stormwater maintenance from the county in July.

The council voted unanimously to approve, however, because it is an alteration in the city charter the change will require an additional hearing and approval. In addition, any specific changes to the millage rate will go through the normal approval process.

In another preparation for Tucker’s Public Works beginning full operation in July, the city council approved the lease of a facility at East Ponce de Leon and Rock Mountain Road for the use of the department. The property includes a 4000-square-foot warehouse and a large paved area.

The city has agreed to a three-year lease with a base yearly rent of $76,000, conditional on the owner providing a bathroom for the use of city employees.

In other business:

— The city council conducted a first read of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Finance Director Beverly Hilton noted that the $9.6 million drop in funding from FY 2023 to FY 2024 was because in 2023 Hilton elected to transfer funds for capital projects that had already been approved, including holdovers from previous years that were still in process.

Hilton said that Tucker still has $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that could be used for capital projects next year.

A second read of the budget and vote is scheduled for June 12, 2023.

— Two residents spoke during public comment, one supporting the city’s proposed nondiscrimination ordinance and one in opposition.

George Wellborn stated appreciation for a hearing of the NDO.

“We all have an innate sense of justice, fairness, and right and wrong, and this ordinance appeals to that on a very deep level,” Wellborn said.

Crystal Girton said that she was not against equality, but did not support the NDO as written. Girton encouraged the council to continue meeting and discussing the wording of the ordinance.

The NDO has not yet been scheduled for a second read and a vote. Mayor Frank Auman is hosting a town hall-style meeting about it at Tucker City Hall on Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m.

— The council approved a $64,000 contract for the design of a sidewalk along Hugh Howell Road to be completed by Keck & Wood. The sidewalk will run from Cowan R. to Mountain Industrial Blvd.

The council also approved a contract with Vanasse, Hangen and Brustlin, Inc. for engineering design services for improvements of Fellowship Road from Lawrenceville Highway to Lavista Road in the amount of $76,000.

Councilmember Alexis Weaver asked about parts of the intersections that don’t seem to be included in the scope of work. Both Weaver and Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner said that they wanted to make sure there were no unintended effects on traffic patterns there.

— The council also approved a contract for Fitzgerald Park sports field lighting, for fields 1,2, and 4, to North Cobb Electrical Services, Inc. in the amount of $890,550. Rip Robertson noted that the company provides a 25-year guarantee for their lighting levels.

— Barge Design Solutions held a second workshop for the city council to discuss design elements for the Tucker town green. Gregory Walker of Houser Walker Architecture described options for restrooms and the planned pavilion and provided both small models and photos of possible pavilion designs. A discussion of materials and the potential uses of the pavilion, including as a concert stage, ensued. Walker clarified that the current design calls for a relatively small sheltered area and that including a storage area might encroach on available space. Walker said that the pavilion could be expanded or storage could be located elsewhere.

— Tucker has hired Charlie Goens as the new operations manager for the Parks and Recreation department.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the amount of American Rescue Plan Act funds available. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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