Alpharetta council approves SWAT agreement with two cities

Police chief says devices will help protect residents



ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The Alpharetta City Council approved a cost-sharing agreement with two other cities that will provide local SWAT team members with an armored vehicle and small robotic devices for use in lethal situations.

The proposal, introduced at an Oct. 2 workshop, is also under consideration before city councils in Roswell and Milton.

If all governing boards sign off, the three cities will share costs on $364,000-worth of equipment police say will improve safety for law enforcement officers and the public. Each city’s share is based on its population.

Alpharetta Public Safety Director John Robison said the three agencies that make up the North Fulton SWAT Team are in agreement with the purchase. Funding, he said, would come from drug seizure assets.

The SWAT Team, commanded by Alpharetta Police Lt. D.L. French, consists of close to 50 officers from Alpharetta, Roswell and Milton.

“We feel this would be a tool that would be valuable as another way to keep our citizens safe, which is the most important priority,” Robison said.

In accordance with the agreement, Alpharetta’s share totals $123,821. Roswell will pay $174,806, and Milton would pay $65,552.

The three-city agreement was one part of a light agenda before the Alpharetta City Council Monday evening.

Council members also approved a contract for $310,000 for maintenance work on seven bridges within the city limits. One of the bridges, a structure on McGinnis Ferry Road over Big Creek, is set to be replaced as part of a future project.

Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz said maintenance work on that bridge will be kept at a minimum, but it will be brought up to standard so as to ensure traffic safety.

More to come

Monday’s light agenda may prove compensation for the City Council’s next meeting Monday when officials will consider a request by developer Mayfair Street Partners seeking approval to build a five-story boutique hotel at 21 Milton Ave.

Mayfair partner Jason Joseph said The Cotton House will contain 120 rooms and 23,000 square feet of retail space that will include a restaurant, and exercise/spa facility. Parking will be on-site with a 122-space underground valet parking deck.

The proposal drew a large crowd at the Nov. 2 Alpharetta Planning Commission meeting where residents who spoke presented divided opinions on the project.

Most residents in opposition said they feared the hotel would present a traffic nightmare to an already congested area and that pedestrian travel would be all but impossible. But speakers in favor of the plan said the hotel would provide a needed amenity to the development already underway in downtown Alpharetta.

After nearly three hours of discussion, the Planning Commission voted 5-2 to deny the application.

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