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Stone Mountain CID to host town hall
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2012 05:19 PM | 911 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Stone Mountain Community Improvement District is soliciting residents’ input for its economic development and job creation agenda.

The entity is set to host an economic planning kick-off event at Eagle Rock Distributing Aug. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to gather stakeholder and public input in creating the Community Improvement District’s economic development plan, officials there said.

The stewards of Stone Mountain’s version of the CID concept are in the midst of crafting a unique strategic program aided by the Atlanta Regional Commission Livable Centers Initiative study.

The three-pronged plan, aided by “substantial” grants from the Atlanta Regional Commission and DeKalb Development Authority, is designed to attract investors, businesses and new jobs to the area, said Stone Mountain CID President Emory Morsberger.

“We are working on three different kinds of things to improve the business climate here,” Morsberger said.

The first area of concern addresses improving the transportation infrastructure there, particularly roads to accommodate contemporary trucking.

“Many of [our roadways] were constructed in the 1960s when tractors trailers were shorter — 60 feet long from stem to stern,” he said. “Now, they’re 80 feet … and trucks have trouble getting around some of our curves.”

The second cog in Morsberger and company’s plan deals with making the systems currently in place relevant to new business start-ups more efficient. The Stone Mountain CID aims to work with the county to improve and streamline the processes involving business licenses, occupancy permits and zoning codes.

“We want it to be as easy as possible … we want [new merchants] to come here and stay here, and, hire as many people as possible,” Morsberger said.

The third and final piece of the Stone Mountain CID initiative centers on discerning a more effective marketing of the area.

Stone Mountain’s adoption of the Community Improvement District model, essentially a public-private partnership, is poised to pay dividends, insiders said.

“It’s basically a group of owners coming together to work with the government — local, state and federal,” Morsberger said. “It’s a win-win situation; we’re not against anybody … it’s a good situation.”

The ultimate objective, he said, is to create 2,000 new jobs in the CID by the end of 2013.

The Aug. 15 kickoff is the first of three public meetings scheduled to occur during the planning process.
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