Lakeside Initiative Moving Forward

All,
The following news was just provided by Lakeside City Alliance indicating completion of the Lakeside City feasibility study and the intention to move forward with the request for the new city at the Capitol in January.

Carl Lange, Secretary
Citizens of Victoria Estates (COVE)

carl@carllange.com
cove@victoriaestates.info

New UGA Study Finds Proposed City of Lakeside Financially Sound
Feasibility Study Shows No Property Tax Increase Needed for City Services

ATLANTA (Nov. 21, 2013) – The Lakeside City Alliance today released a newly-completed study by the University of Georgia that shows a proposed city of Lakeside would be financially sound and that revenues would exceed the cost of city services – all without a property tax increase.

The study, conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, concludes that the proposed city of 63,000 residents in north-central DeKalb County would generate approximately $35.8 million in yearly revenue. Meanwhile, providing city services, including police, parks, public works, zoning and code enforcement, among other basic services, would cost about $29.9 million annually.

“We are thrilled that our community generates the revenue necessary to govern itself,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chair of the Lakeside City Alliance. “After more than 70 community meetings discussing potential incorporation, it’s now time to move forward and request that the General Assembly allow us a vote to become Georgia’s newest city.”

The CVI study compared a new city of Lakeside with Smyrna and Dunwoody, cities of somewhat similar size and population. Highlights of the study include:

  • A new city of Lakeside would be likely employ approximately 81 police officers, significantly more than in Dunwoody (46) and almost as many in Smyrna (91). The average number of officers per resident of the new city would be 785 compared to 1,006 residents per officer in Dunwoody and 563 residents per officer in Smyrna.
  • A city of Lakeside would have 190 acres of existing parkland with 121 acres at Henderson Park, 29 acres at WD Thompson Park, 24 acres at Pleasantdale Park, 11 acres at the Mary Scott Nature Park and 6 acres at Frazier-Rowe.
  •  Under public works, a city of Lakeside could provide road and bridge repair and maintenance and would have an estimated $1.3 million to spend annually. It would have 213 lane miles in its city compared to 273 lane miles in Dunwoody and 450 lane miles in Smyrna.
  • The new city would have neither a jail nor courthouse facilities, as it would continue to rely on DeKalb County for those services and others,  including water and sewer and, sanitation and trash pickup.
  • Assessed property value in the proposed city boundaries totals approximately $2.5 billion.

The Georgia Legislature will consider the CVI study when it commences in January, 2014. It will review the study as part of legislation introduced by state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) to allow the Lakeside community to vote on incorporation. If the House and Senate agree to a referendum, the Governor signs in to law, and the voters in the proposed Lakeside boundary will vote on incorporation on May 20, the same day as the statewide primary.

“These are very strong numbers, and we believe the CVI report will help the Legislature move our city forward,” said Kevin Levitas, co-chair of the Lakeside City Alliance. “We have heard from our friends and neighbors in this community that they want better police protection, their own parks, better roads and local control. This report shows it can really happen.”

LCA has proposed city boundaries of approximately 20 square miles, based upon community input. The boundaries include North Druid Hills Road to the west and southwest, Interstate 85 though DeKalb County to the border with Gwinnett County to the north and I-285 to the Embry Hills community to the northeast. It would include Mercer University, Northlake Mall, Embry Hills and Toco Hills shopping centers among other landmarks.

The full report and information about methodology updates can be found on the Lakeside City Alliance website at www.lakesidealliance.org

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