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Officials talk Windsor Parkway project
by Bobby Tedder
October 17, 2013 02:06 PM | 1785 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials continue to mull over financing options for the proposed Windsor Parkway realignment at Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, within a mile of the Buckhead border.

At its meeting Tuesday at City Hall, the Sandy Springs City Council approved dual applications — for grant and loan monies — in connection to that project with the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

On the grant side, council is seeking $750,000 in funds as part of the Windsor Parkway initiative.

“We believe it is a competitive project and we believe the $750,000 is in the realm of something that would be well received,” said City Manager John McDonough.

That amount represents 20 percent of the project cost.

“We’re putting a significant amount of skin in the game on this one,” McDonough said.

The city manager also presented the case for council members to approve an application to the state transportation infrastructure bank’s loan program for $2.75 million for a 10-year term.

Both measures passed by a 5-1 vote, with District 6 Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny the lone holdout in both instances. She cited concern over the city’s outstanding debt on the latter vote.

“One of the things that our city has been extraordinary at since I’ve been on the council for almost eight years is not incurring debt,” McEnerny said. “We are now about $4 million [plus] in debt.

“It sounds good — good interest rate; we’re not tying our hands right now — but to add [$2.75 million] is more than half of what we have right now.”

The city, which is not obligated to accept the loan if approved, is not expected to see any operational impact on a year-over-year basis, McDonough said.

“We have already approved a tentative funding plan for this project,” McDonough said. “What this does, both through the grant and loan programs, is relieves those sources that [the council] has already identified.

“The grant money is free money and the loan money — at 2.4 percent [interest] paid for by the developer — would allow money for the T-19 project [Roswell Road streetscape on the south side of the city] to the tune of $2.3 million to potentially go back into the pot for that project to be accelerated.”

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