Register Now for Rockdale State of the County - One Week Away!


Chairman and CEO Richard Oden will give an address on the economic outlook of the County at the Rockdale State of the County next Thursday, March 17th at Springfield Baptist Church. Sponsorships are still available! Email aj@councilforqualitygrowth.org for more information.

 
DeKalb State of the County - A Huge Success!

Over 400 Council members, elected officials and guests attended the DeKalb State of County on Thursday, March 10th. Guests heard from the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District on the County's impressive water conservation accomplishments and Ray Gilley  with Decide DeKalb on the County's economic development efforts. The highlight of the event was a dynamic one-on one conversation with WSB-TV news anchor Erin Coleman and Interim CEO Lee May who spoke about his leadership of the County and the goals he plans to achieve before leaving office at the end of this year.

Interim CEO May talked about how building a strong foundation for DeKalb to continue to build upon is the most important legacy he could leave for the County. Despite the challenges and instability within County leadership, the focus has remained on forward thinking, strengthening finances and investing in the County-wide infrastructure. When asked what his priorities would be over the next nine months before leaving office, May further emphasized his commitment to building a strong stable foundation for new leadership. A major piece of that foundation he hopes to have in place is getting the County's first SPLOST program on the books. He recognized that DeKalb is behind many of the metro area counties in adopting a SPLOST program, but with over 400 miles of roads in need of repaving, the County can no longer afford to wait.

When Coleman asked what he was most proud of, and what he wishes the media would take note of, Interim CEO May lauded the County's strong finances. He pointed to recently lowered millage rates and rapid economic growth, guided by a recently adopted economic development strategic plan and the new partnership with the County Development Authority, Decide DeKalb. In closing Coleman asked Interim CEO May to describe the 'state of the County' in one word - he responded with "Strong." 

From Left: Ray Gilley, Troy Bush, Katerina Taylor,  Kevin Greiner, Diane McClearen, Interim CEO Lee May, Erin Coleman, Kerwin Lee, Keith Parker, Michael Paris, Danny Johnson

The Council thanks Interim CEO May and WSB-TV anchor Erin Coleman and all of the sponsors that made this event a great success..
March 11th, 2016

What are Council Members saying about their investment in the Council for Quality Growth?


FOUR MARCH
UPCOMING EVENTS!
Contact
770-813-3381, for sponsorship information .






SAVE THE DATE
The Council is hosting SEVEN State of the County events this year!
Save the date for more details to come for:

 
Fulton State of the County
 
April 28, 11:30 AM

Forsyth State of the County
May 19, 11:30 AM

 
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to Continue to Discuss New Impact Fees 
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners discussed Proposed Impact Fees during their regular work session on Tuesday, March 8th. The Board discussed a recommendation made last week by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee to adopt transportation impact fees at a higher level of service. 

During the first public hearing on November 19th, James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Council for Quality Growth addressed the Board of Commissioners to express concerns and request that the fees be recalculated to account for the $200 Million infrastructure bond and the recently announced $156 Million in matching funding from GDOT as well as the projected annual funding funding from House Bill 170 (State Transportation Funding Bill), totaling $75 Million per year, that will be used to construct prioritized transportation improvement projects in Forsyth County. The BOC directed the consultant, Duncan and Associates to recalculate the fees with these considerations.  The revised study found that given this new State transportation funding no transportation impact fee was justified using the standard consumption calculation to fund transportation improvements at a 1 to 1 Level of Service (LOS) ratio. The report did, however, offer fee options calculated using a higher Level of Service (1.1, 1.2, and 1.3), stating that the methodology was not the industry standard, but would allow the County to collect a higher fee. The Impact Fee Advisory Committee voted 5 to 3 to recommend the fees be calculated with a 1.2 LOS ratio, resulting in a transportation impact fee of $1,968 per single family residence. 

During Tuesday's work session, the Board of Commissioners discussed the committee recommendation and reiterated concerns regarding the impact the fees could have on commercial development. The Board is also concerned that the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee is not sufficient to fund needed parks improvements. Given these concerns the Board voted to hold a special called work session on Thursday the 17th to continue the discussion on the proposed fees with the consultant on the line. The Board will hold a second public hearing on the impact fee proposal on April 7th.

The Council for Quality Growth has been involved with this issue since the release of the first impact fee study draft in August last year.  Click HERE to read more about the original proposal.

Click HERE to view the revised Impact Fee Study
 
DeKalb Fiscal Oversight Committee Discusses Department Vacancies and Incentive Program
The DeKalb County Development Services Fiscal Oversight Committee met on Monday, March 7th to discuss issues and updates with County department heads and representatives from the development industry. 

County officials reported that they are dealing with numerous job vacancies across development services departments causing project delays. Vacancies include a plan review supervisor, 4 plan reviewers, 2 building inspectors, an arborist and 2 utilities inspectors. While the County is utilizing 3rd party contractors to address the department's workload, delays for plan review and inspections can be expected. The County is working to fill these open positions with qualified personnel as soon as possible. Click HERE to view the County job postings. 

DeKalb County COO, Luz Borerro provided information on the proposed economic incentives policy that will go to the Board of Commissioners for review later this month. The proposed policy would provide economic incentives to businesses looking to relocate or expand in DeKalb County within targeted industries identified in the Economic Development Strategic Plan. These industries include Professional and Business Services, Life Sciences, Tourism, Logistics, Construction and Advanced Manufacturing. Eligible businesses would have to satisfy economic impact requirements regarding taxable value, job creation and water/sewer revenue. The available incentives will include discounted land development and permit fees, water and sewer fees based on investment and taxable value, with credit given for sustainable building certifications. A final version of the proposed incentive program will be available next week.
 
Council Hosts Cherokee County Director of Public Works, Geoff Morton at Cherokee Advisory
The Cherokee Advisory Committee hosted Cherokee County Director of Public Works and County Engineer, Geoff Morton on Wednesday, March 9th.  Morton discussed the County's recent Comprehensive Transportation Plan Update which identifies over 300 transportation improvement projects including road, transit, bike and pedestrian totaling $1.1 Billion of investment into the County's system. While road capacity improvements remained the highest priority for residents and stakeholders during  the planning process, there was a substantial amount of support for alternative modes of transportation like public transit expansion and bicycle infrastructure. The plan also included a multi-use trail component where priority trail connections between cities and surrounding counties were identified and included in the project list.

Of the $1.1 Billion in identified transportation investments, $279 Million is State funding allocated from House Bill 170 (the Transportation Investment Act of 2015) over the next 25 years. Morton explained that much of this state funding is allocated for the widening of State Road 20. This will be one of the first projects in the state funded entirely from HB-170 and will serve as a State model for the success of the program. Cherokee County's Roadway SPLOST program will invest $516 Million into county road improvements, which included capacity expansions, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety and bridge upgrades, operations and transit over the next 25 years. 

The Council thanks Geoff Morton for speaking to the Cherokee Advisory and for the County's commitment to improving  our region's transportation system.


Click HERE to view the full presentation on the Comprehensive Transportation Plan Update

 Click HERE to view the DRAFT Comprehensive Transportation Plan


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The Council for Quality Growth | 770-813-3370 | jt@councilforqualitygrowth.org 
http://www.councilforqualitygrowth.org
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