By Meris Lutz - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Posted: 12:40 p.m. Monday, January 09, 2017
A majority of the Cobb County Commission appear poised to approve the issuance of $24.7 million in park bonds to buy greenspace.
The commission is scheduled to vote on the bonds Tuesday, a first step toward fulfilling a central promise of new chairman Mike Boyce’s election campaign.
The proposed action includes increasing the millage rate by .13 mills, or $10.49 per year on a house valued at $200,000. The $24.7 million represents the remaining sum the county can legally collect based on a $40 million park bond referendum that passed in 2008, but was shelved due to the recession.
The Cobb Parks Coalition, a citizen advocacy group, celebrated the impending vote.
“Great News! Chairman Mike Boyce is already taking steps to honor the vote for the Park Bond 2008 Referendum, as he pledged to do during his campaign for Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners,” the group said in a statement over the weekend.
The board rejected a similar proposal, 3-2, in November, with then-Chairman Tim Lee and commissioners Bob Ott and Lisa Cupid opposing.
Cupid said last week she is ready to support issuing park bonds, but Ott voiced concern. He suggested the board first identify the properties the county should buy, then find a way to fund the cost.
Ott said the citizens committee tasked with compiling a list of potential park properties spent a lot of time on it.
“We owe it to them” to review the list before taking action, Ott said.
Boyce said he wanted to “send a message” to voters by issuing what bonds could be issued as soon as possible, adding that he was committed to finding more money to honor the $40 million approved by voters.