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Clarkston passes millage rate, makes plans for the future

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Clarkston passes millage rate, makes plans for the future

L to R City Manager Shawanna Qawiy, Councilmember Susan Hood, Mayor Pro Tem Debra Johnson, Mayor Beverly Burks, Councilmember Awet Eyasu, Councilmember Jamie Carroll discussed the city's millage rate and SPLOST projects during meetings on June 29, 2023. Photo by Sara Amis.

Clarkston, GA — At a special called meeting preceding their work session on June 29, the Clarkston City Council passed a 13.89 millage rate. That amount is one mill lower than the 2022 rate of 14.89, but higher than the rollback rate based on the recently released county tax digest, which was 11.253.

At the work session, the council discussed other potential sources of funding for needed city improvements, including federal grant programs and the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Congressman Hank Johnson’s Communications Director Andy Phelan offered a presentation about the Inflation Reduction Act and the grants available to cities for environmental, clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives, including rebate programs for residential weatherization, building code improvements, and expansion of electric vehicle charging stations.

The council also discussed the timeline and potential uses for the city’s upcoming SPLOST II.

Mayor Beverly Burks suggested that the council members create a list of projects they would like to see and start discussions so that all the information can be ready to put into a resolution by the September council meeting.

Councilmember Jamie Carroll said that it would be useful to look at a list of potential projects from SPLOST I that the city didn’t get to, and to possibly coordinate with DeKalb and Tucker, so improvements to streets don’t just abruptly end at the city limits.

Resident Brian Medford said that previous SPLOST projects have done wonders for the city.

“I would like to see more pedestrian friendly improvements, at least two more playgrounds, and a sidewalk on Jolly Ave.,” Medford said.

In other news, these items were placed on the consent agenda to be passed at the city council’s next regular meeting on July 6:

– The council discussed a resolution recognizing July as Muslim American Heritage Month.

“We definitely appreciate and welcome all faiths in our city, and we definitely appreciate Muslim Americans in our city,” Councilmember Awet Eyasu said.

– The council considered an ordinance requiring all new or remodeled conveyor style car washes to have a water recycling system. In addition, the council plans to adopt a post-construction stormwater management ordinance in compliance with state and federal law.

– The council plans to appoint City Clerk Tomika Mitchell as the Municipal Elections Superintendent for the Nov. 7, 2023 general election, and to set the qualifying period for municipal elections from Monday, Aug. 21 to Friday, Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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