Marietta Mayor “Thunder” Tumlin recently presented a proposal before the Marietta City Council Committee meeting that seeks initial approval by the Council for a $35 million bond package to promote the redevelopment of yet to be determined facets of Marietta. The proposal before the Council seeks to authorize the issuance of a General Obligation bond for special projects and to stabilize the student population in the Marietta School System. If approved by the citizens of Marietta, the bond may increase the millage rate by 2 mills annually, and asks for voter approval to be considered on the November 2013 ballot.
The recent passage of the Marietta Ed-SPLOST, set up for a reduction in the city school millage rate by 1.187 mills; which would mean the millage rate, if the proposal was approved by the Council in current form, would only result in a .813 millage increase, or approximately $65 a year, based on a $200,000 home. The bond would would be for 20 years.
A project list has not yet been introduced by the Mayor or City Council, but the Council for Quality Growth believes it may include streetscape improvements for Whitlock Avenue, the Franklin Road area, among other projects. According to sources, the projects will tie in with established programs such as the Green Tech Corridor, MU2 on Highway 41 area, in order to tap into established groundwork that has been laid.
Urban blight has become front and center in the Franklin Road area, with aging apartment complexes and its high levels of crime. The bond initiative would be a leap to redevelop blighted areas and attract new residents and business to Marietta. The Mayor believes redevelopment would improve the area’s schools and create a safer environment for residents. Additionally, a domino effect would be established by benefiting surround hotels and office parks, along with bringing new business to the city, which in turn bring jobs.
Will the public buy in to the Mayor’s proposal? The Franklin Road Corridor is attractive to developers for redevelopment purposes for several reasons. The location, situated between two exits on 1-75, near Highway 41 and in between Cumberland and Town Center, with easy access to downtown and the airport, is conducive to a mixed-used or office environment.
Is now the time to consider a proposal? The question, rather, should be, if not now, when? The City Council has the opportunity to work with the Mayor and lay the groundwork for the future and this initiative could be a signature project of the Council and Mayor Tumlin that would have a lasting effect long beyond their terms.
The Council for Quality Growth will continue to track the progress of the proposal and will work with the city of Marietta, Mayor Tumlin and the City Council to support the redevelopment efforts within the city.