ALPHARETTA, Ga. — While Alpharetta prepares to draft a spending plan ahead of the 2021 budget, officials are considering a late slate of projects, totaling more than $7 million, available for funding in the current budget.
At the City Council’s annual retreat last week, Mayor Jim Gilvin unveiled his list of major capital projects to be added to the city’s mid-year budget for 2020. Those proposals were also set for further discussion at the council’s regular meeting on Monday.
Alpharetta operates on a fiscal year that runs from July-June, and the city’s budget regularly includes some money set aside for one-time improvements late in the year.
Latest figures show the city still has about $1.6 million in unallocated capital funding available. Money is also available from the city’s collection of impact fees on new construction, through the hotel/motel tax and from other sources.
The slate of new projects includes close to $8 million in spending.
Capital projects are one-time expenses, like new vehicles, street improvements or roof replacements.
“I’m identifying projects that I think are priorities for me and for the group and finding sources for those projects,” Gilvin said.
Top of the list is acquisition of more parkland. Gilvin has proposed committing another $5 million to the effort this year.
In the wake of heavy development the city has undergone the past decade, Alpharetta officials say they want to secure enough park space to maintain a high quality of life as the city grows.
“The challenge is finding and acquiring the land,” Gilvin said. “I think once we have the land, then we can identify revenue sources to make improvements. But if we don’t have funding available when opportunities arise, then those opportunities are gone forever.”
City officials are also considering a host of other projects the mayor has proposed for late-year funding. They include:
- Pedestrian improvements at Marietta Street and Ga. 9 — This shovel-ready project includes installation of a Hawk Signal and provides other street modifications. Price: $200,000.
- Hopewell Road and Vaughn Drive roundabout — Projected cost: $1.5 million.
- Lily Garden Extension — This is the design portion of a plan to connect with Cumming Street across Ga. 9. Price $785,000.
- Restrooms at public parks — In all, four sites will be affected, including new facilities at the Big Creek Greenway trailheads at Haynes Bridge Road and at Marconi Drive, and upgraded facilities at Wacky World at Wills Park and at the quad in North Park. Total projected cost: $900,000.
- Converting the Town Green to artificial turf — Projected cost: $100,000.
- Renovation of athletic fields – Plan calls for renovating the fields at Innovation Academy for use by the city. Projected cost: $250,000.