North McDonough sure has come a long way in the past couple years.
Once one of Decatur’s least inviting streets, home to little more than front of the Decatur High School and the western facade of the Marble House, this major city corridor has new life in recent years with the addition of new businesses like Village Vets and Relics & Rarities and of course the High School’s new auditorium and stadium.
And now Decatur can finally put the icing on the cake.
Just last month, the city heard that it had received preliminary approval of a $1.77 million grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative to make improvements to McDonough’s streetscape.
Assitant City Manager Lyn Menne notes…
We had applied several times in the past but hadn’t gotten the grant – for several reasons I think. They try to spread the funding around and we have several streetscape projects in the works. It also helps that we have funding in place for the intersection improvement at the railroad intersection at the south end and funding in place for streetscape improvements along Trinity at the northern end of this corridor and the high school construction is completed and should generate more pedestrian activity with the gym, performing arts center and stadium improvements. All the pieces were in place to complete this last bit of the network to the south side and Agnes Scott.
The city will have to match 20% of the cost – around $354,000 – which is available from the Capital Bond Project Fund.
Though it keeps its distance from the U.S. Interstates, Decatur’s got its fair-share of car-catering roads. These stretches of 40+mph joy are what hip and snarky transit buffs like to call “car sewers”.
Scott Boulevard, Commerce Drive, Howard Ave, and College Ave are Decatur’s biggies. These are the roads that exist with one goal in mind: to get you from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time possible.
“Hooray!” says the afflicted commuter. “Phooey!” say the ladies and fellas trying to promote and build communities around these auto flush-lines.
But one thing’s for sure, facilitating car sewage ain’t cheap. Decatur’s City Commission will be reminded of this tonight, when they vote to approve or deny $47,600 in repaving costs along 700 feet of notorious North Decatur Road (along with around $33,000 for milling and repaving costs for sections of 2nd Ave and Superior in preparation for GDOT paving this summer.)
“Huh?”, you may be thinking. “Decatur’s city line doesn’t stretch up to North Decatur Road!” Au contraire mon frere.
Continue reading “Car Sewers Need Love Too”
Chris Billingsley writes in…
After taking the weekend off, the SportsTurf boys tested the new Glenlake Park sprinklers this morning. The sprinklers on the upper field are working well. The project manager told me that, with good weather, the park will open ahead of schedule. That’s good news!
An email from Kathleen Banks Everett of Decatur School of Ballet circulated widely amongst the Decatur population last week, stating that the Ballet had been priced out of using Decatur High’s new auditorium for an upcoming performance after months of involvement with the school system about renting the space. (If you haven’t read the email yet, it can be viewed in full after the jump.)
And since I have not yet received a reply from CSD on this matter, I had to dig up my own info.
When the Decatur School Board approved the new High School Auditorium rates back in January ($150 per hour includes one required technician; plus $80 fee for technician set up and breakdown; $50 per hour for each additional technician), the note from Maintenance Director Gene Ponder included this caveat…
The new auditorium at the high school is technically sophisticated. The space requires a district trained staff technician to operate the lights and sound. It has already been determined that even for a basic presentation, that it takes a technician one hour for light and sound set up and a half hour after the event for break down. So use of the auditorium will require at least one technician.
So, just from reading this explanation, the lesson here seems to be that if you build a state-of-the-art facility, you’re going to end up pricing some folks out of the market. It’s that simple. However, there are still relevant, unanswered questions. For instance, is CSD just covering operating costs for the rental or are they also trying to raise revenue in a very tough economic climate? Which is preferable to the city population?
Also, these rates were set back in January, but Ms. Everett’s note says that CSD told her that rates weren’t set until mid-February. Why is there a discrepancy?
We need to dig up some answers to these questions before we can put on our well-worn judgment hats.
Continue reading “Decatur’s “Technically Sophisticated” Auditorium Too Pricey For Some”
Emily writes in with info on the upcoming Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes…
The historic Atlanta neighborhood of Kirkwood will host their annual Spring Fling Festival and Tour of Homes the second weekend in May.
On Saturday, May 15th the weekend’s activities will begin with the introduction of a new event; a 5K run starting at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Kirkwood. The run will wind through the beautiful historic neighborhood of Kirkwood and will finish near the site of the Spring Fling festival which will begin at 10am in Bessie Branham Park.
Continue reading “Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes – May 15th & 16th”