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Committee forms to spur economic development in southeastern DeKalb
by Christine Fonville
February 18, 2014 11:10 AM | 2149 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A private-public partnership aimed at increasing property values, reviving business and creating jobs in southeastern DeKalb is in the formation process.

The East Metro DeKalb Community Improvement District consists of about 39 square miles and an estimated commercial property value of about $1 billion.

The boundary of the proposed improvement district in the southeastern part of the county along the I-20 corridor includes Panola Road, Wesley Chapel Road, Candler Road and Memorial Drive, among other areas.

“While we’re still technically in the formation process, our goal is completion by May,” said Doreen Carter, chair of the improvement district formation committee.

The funds could be used for both residential and commercial ventures, said Raquel Obumba, strategic planner with The Collaborative firm, who used a MARTA expansion as an example of a improvement district-related project.

The potential expansion would run from the Indian Creek Station to Turner Hill with four additional stops along the route.

She said the improvement district can help this particular boundary of the county flourish.

“Having a CID actually gives this area another economic development tool and increases development offers by providing another funding source,” Carter said.

Governed by a board of directors who set a budget, property owners agree to be taxed over and above property values in order to fund the projects they deem most important and potentially avoid waiting and competing for county revenues.

Carter and Obumba said it was important to communicate to residents that the improvement district is not a government entity.

“This allows landowners to have a say-so in where funds go and politics are not a factor,” said Obumba.

“We want property owners to control what we do with those funds and know they have the power to do so.”

Mostly, Carter and Obumba said, in this stage of the formation process the committee wants to hear ideas and input from property owners in the boundaries of the proposed improvement district.

“CID funds can assist with water, public transportation, parks and recreation, road construction, landscaping, and more,” said Carter.

“This additional revenue source will give funding to help move some of these projects along.”

For more information or to contact the committee, visit

What's Next?
A property owner informational meeting will be March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the south DeKalb police precinct, 2842 Shepherd Drive, Decatur.

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