Tucker City Council approves pool improvements and road projects

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Tucker City Council met April 12, announcing a plan to elect a new councilmember to replace Bill Rosenfeld, who died in January, and passing several ordinances.

On Nov. 2, a municipal election will be held in Tucker to elect a mayor and four City Councilmembers. The election will include the special election to fill Rosenfeld’s seat.

Candidates must file notice of candidacy at City Hall between Aug, 16-20. Open seats in the election are positions District 1 Post 1, currently Pat Soltys; District 1 post 2, currently unoccupied; District 2 Post 1, currently Matt Robbins; and District 3, Post 1, currently Michelle Penkava.

Constituents can visit the app Tucker Votes to learn about their area’s representatives.

Parks and Recreation director Rip Robertson announced improvements to Rosenfeld Park and Kelly Cofer Park in time for opening weekend, May 29. At Rosenfeld Park pool, the diving platform is being removed to make room for a water slide; at Kelly Cofer Park pool, an aqua swing will replace a diving board. City Council approved the project, which will cost $59,555.

Finance director Robert Porche presented a second read of an ordinance to amend the FY21 budget. According to Porche’s memo, the largest part of the budget amendment is the receipt of a $500,000 additional grant for the new traffic light at Hugh Howell Road and Flintstone Road. The ordinance passed unanimously.

Council members unanimously passed an ordinance for a Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) to allow a drive-thru of CDC Federal Credit Union branch at 4816 Briarcliff Road, near the main entrance of Northlake Mall. It is the first standalone branch on this site, which will sit next to the Emory Vaccine Center. The building meets zoning requirements, which encourage the redevelopment of parking lots into a mix of retail, office and residential use.

City engineer Ken Hildebrandt presented two major road projects. With the Chamblee Tucker Road safety improvement project, Hildebrandt said there are two options for improving safety: the installation of six to eight pedestrian crosswalks with blinking signals, or a road diet, taking the four-lane road to two lanes with a dedicated bike lane, middle turn lane, medians and pedestrian crossings with blinking signals. City Council approved spending $79,860 from SPLOST funds to create an engineering design. The plan will be presented to council at a later date.

In January, City Council approved the intersection improvement at Hugh Howell Road and Flintstone Road for $855,262 to ease traffic outside the new Smoke Rise Elementary School. During the project assessment, a 12-inch asbestos cement water line was discovered to conflict with the plan. Hildebrandt said contractor ER Snell can relocate the water line safely for less than $400,000 before school begins in August. The City Council approved the contract amendment.

Auman said DeKalb County planned to relocate the water line eventually, and that Tucker is asking to speed up the urgency of the project.

“We’ve had conversations with the two commissioners who represent that district, as well as officials in the operations department at DeKalb County. We’re going on some faith here, but we expect to recover a large part of the costs of this at some point in the future,” Auman said about the cost.

In other news:

– City manager Tami Hanlin presented a preliminary FY22 budget. General Fund Revenue is estimated to dip slightly to $14.2 million from $14.5 million. City Council members plan to meet April 19 for a budget workshop at 7 p.m., and the final budget will be presented at the April 26 City Council meeting.

– City Council approved the adoption of the Tucker Summit CID Freight Plan. Tucker Summit CID and Tucker will work together on road improvements, pedestrian safety and access to public transit. The majority of the $6 million project will be paid for by federal funding; the remainder will be split between the city and Tucker Summit CID.

– City Council approved an ordinance to amend the language in city code regarding corner lots. Director of Planning and Zoning Courtney Smith said the change is not one in policy or interpretation, but rather a clarification.

– Tucker received 31 new business license applications since February. Eight businesses are home-based, while 23 are commercial businesses.

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