Atlanta annexation meeting notes



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Atlanta annexation meeting notes

8/21/14


Frazer Center

This was intended to be an information session. Not a persuasive or argumentative presentation.





  • About 25 attendees from about 15 neighborhood associations including: Druid Hills, North Druid Hills, Mason Mill, Merry Hills, Medlock, N. Amanda,

  • Also in attendance: Mary Margaret Oliver, Elena Parent

  • Anne Wallace (meeting organizer) opened meeting

  • Attendees took turns introducing themselves, their neighborhood association, and the sentiments of the residents of their neighborhood re. annexation

    • Universal opinions expressed: wait and see, need more info, our residents aren’t aware

    • About 1/3 of the neighborhoods represented are in the current, published, Lakeside/Briarcliff/Briarlake/BriarSide/BriarPatch map.

  • Schools were specifically not an item on the agenda as issues to be addressed, but there was a small bit of discussion – to be summarized below

  • Meeting turned over to City of Atlanta, District 6 Council Representative, Alex Wan.

  • Alex’s remarks

    • Atlanta has a “passive stance” on annexation

    • Summarized annexation methods

      • 100% method, 60% method, Legislative procedure and referendum

    • Taxes: yes taxes are higher

    • Davis Fox from Druid Hills interjected. He has done an extensive analysis comparing taxes in City of Atlanta vs Unincorporated DeKalb. The results are posted on the Druid Hills website and will be updated by the end of next week. In summary, the higher taxes in Atlanta are more a matter of perception than fact. There is a small progressive increase as property value goes up.




Assessed value

Annual tax change

$300K

Small decrease

$400K

$26 increase

$500K

$120 increase

$600K

$352 increase

$1 million

~1,000 increase

    • Atlanta sanitation cost is more than double that of DeKalb

    • Water and Sewer: Boundary changes will not affect service provider. The infrastructure, source, and rates remain with the existing provider (DeKalb).

    • Brief school mention

      • Annexed area becomes part of Atlanta Public Schools

        • A.P.S. considers a contractual agreement with DeKalb County Board of Education to educate children within its borders – payment in kind.

        • How this is actually worked out will be challenging. Mary Margaret said she believed the school issue was the most difficult and most important issue regarding annexation.

    • The issue of annexation is connected to the issue of cityhood: i.e. the state legislature will decide on cityhood and will then weigh in on annexation based on how cityhood affects neighborhoods outside of the proposed new city.

    • Atlanta infrastructure initiatives

      • $250 million infrastructure improvement bond up for referendum

        • No tax increase is being sought to service the bond. The city is pursuing budget and operations efficiencies to service the debt (about $25 million/year.)

      • Seeking additional $50 million per year from existing revenue to devote to infrastructure improvements.

    • Atlanta tax revenue is currently $90 million less than it was in 2008. Despite the decrease Alex claims the city is providing more and better services than it was before.

    • Alex is willing to come to neighborhoods to give informative presentations and answer questions.

      • David and Ron highly recommend we take advantage of this.

      • Alex contact info

        • awan@atlantaga.gov

        • 404-330-6049

  • Meeting turned back to general discussion

    • Justin Critz (DHCA President) hopes for a decision by Thanksgiving on whether Druid Hills will pursue annexation.

    • Anne Wallace will publish a list of meeting participants so that we may keep a discussion going

    • There was general discussion about getting the word out to our neighbors and educating them. Also, the use of surveys (needs to be well crafted and needs to go to all households).

    • Another meeting to be scheduled in two weeks. Same location, same day, same time.


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