Saturday, April 3, 2010

Odds & Ends

Easter Egg Hunt

This past week, 28 children in the neighborhood got together for an Easter Egg hunt. Not sure who got the most eggs, but everyone left with big smiles!

Update from Councilman Wittenstein

Below is the most recent update from Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein.

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

This month, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Dunwoody was entitled to a small share of the HOST sales tax revenue collected in DeKalb. Most of the $80-100 million collected each year in sales tax in DeKalb is used to reduce our residential property tax. Some is earmarked for capital/infrastructure projects. During the cityhood movement, we asked the state legislature to help ensure that some of that money would be available to Dunwoody and they passed a provision setting aside a small portion for us to direct. The County tried to stop the distribution in state court but lost. That means that Dunwoody will receive from $2-3 million each year for capital projects.
This revenue forms the bulk of the funds we will use to repave our streets. The same week we won the court case, we earmarked funds to work on the first group of streets. Some people may wonder how we picked them. We have agreed as a city council that politics will not play any role in deciding what streets to pave. Getting your street paved in Dunwoody will not be about who you know. It will be dictated by the condition of the road and the amount of traffic that road receives. This year we will complete the following:

We all recognize that this is a modest beginning for streets that have been neglected for many, many years. We are establishing a 5-year paving plan. Below is a link to the map of Dunwoody that shows the streets we expect to improve over the next five years. We will re-look at this plan each year to make sure we are working on the streets in most need of repair.

Dunwoody 5-Year Paving Plan Map
While I am gratified that this is many times more road work than we would have received from DeKalb, I worry that it may not be enough to gain ground on the years of neglect. It costs a lot more to fix roads that are in bad condition than it does to provide lighter repairs to roads in fair condition. In the long term, the most cost-effective way to tackle this would be to invest heavily over the next few years to bring our roads up to a higher standard and then spend our money to keep roads from getting into bad shape. That, however, would either require us to borrow money or raise taxes. I don't know how the rest of the council feels, but I'm loath to support either. So for now, we may have to curb our impatience to do more than we can afford.
As an update from last month, the proposed ordinance to severely restrict, but not prohibit, backyard chicken coops fell one vote short, so it did not pass. The proposal to attempt to tax and regulate taxicabs based elsewhere but coming into Dunwoody to pick up passengers also failed. Thank you to all of you who replied to my e-mail last month; I got over a hundred replies.
On a final note, we are starting to see a little bit of rezoning activity. For the first time since we became a city we have a couple of rezoning requests working their way through the process. I hope this is a sign that our economy is starting to improve.

Springfield Voluntary Dues

In the next few weeks, be on the lookout for a flyer from the newly formed Springfield Neighborhood Association. The SNA is asking for contributions to pay for the yearly expenses to maintain our fabulous-looking front entrance off Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.

In the past, our wonderful neighbor Barbara Beck handled all the finances through her own personal account, this year the SNA relieve Barbara of those duties, at her request. We are asking for $40 per household, but please give what you can. The mission of the SNA is to add value to our neighborhood. We genuinely hope you become an active part of keeping Springfield “a great place to live.”

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