Brumbelow Road gets green light

Signal agreement may trigger more cooperation

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The newly configured Johns Creek City Council took a step toward laying to rest one of the controversies of the recent city elections when it signed off on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the city and Roswell that will clear the path for a traffic signal at Brumbelow Road and Nesbit Ferry Road.

The fruits of that agreement by the new council may go well beyond just one agreement about a traffic light. It seems to have triggered an interest among Johns Creek, Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton on a number of issues.

In a Jan. 27 workshop, Mayor Mike Bodker brought for approval a memorandum of understanding he and Roswell Mayor Jere Wood had hammered out. It followed closely the original MOU proposed by Roswell with some modifications made.

“The discussions were good,” Bodker said. “We not only covered this item, but Mayor Wood brought up the potential for working on other border issues with Roswell.”

One of those might be to replace the intersection with a traffic circle, but that would be sometime in the future, Bodker said. The advantage of a joint project is that it receives a higher priority for federal funds if it is a traffic improvement for multiple jurisdictions.

Other traffic issues could become joint North Fulton projects. Roswell and Alpharetta have both expressed interest in working more closely on joint projects of mutual interest.

“Once two or more cities are involved, the feds consider it a regional project and it gets a higher priority as well as federal money,” Bodker said. “Traffic doesn’t recognize borders. If all parties agree to the projects, it’s a win-win for everybody.”

The memorandum of understanding for Brumbelow Road was passed unanimously by Johns Creek. Roswell is expected to take up the matter at its next meeting.

In other City Council business:

• A proposed funeral home at the southeast corner of Bell Road and Medlock Bridge Road was denied without prejudice at the applicant’s request. After meeting with neighboring homeowners, the applicant agreed to withdraw. Since the zoning request had been advertised, a denial was needed rather than a simple withdrawal.

• An agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make $800,000 in safety improvements, bike lanes and trails on Barnwell Road was unanimously approved for the first phase ($200,000 and a $50,000 match by the city).

• A plan for 49 townhouses at the corner of State Bridge Road and Morton Road was unanimously approved. Previously zoned as commercial, no viable plan had worked in the previous five years.

• A special election date of May 20 has been tentatively set to fill two vacant council seats. This date is the one designated for state and federal election primaries. By coinciding with the state’s dates, the city will save any additional expense for the special elections. However, out of legal prudence, the actual approval will be withheld until the Feb. 10 meeting, when Councilman Ivan Figueroa has vacated his seat (Feb. 1).

• A resolution that will end all litigation between the city and Mayor Mike Bodker over the recent investigation passed 4-1-1 with Figueroa voting nay and Bodker abstaining.