Tucker City Council focuses on future infrastructure

Main Street, Tucker. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Tucker has received the first installment in American Rescue Plan funds, an historic economic stimulus package created under President Joe Biden. At the Aug. 9 City Council meeting, the city announced it will receive two tranches of $6.7 million.

ARP funds are doled out over a two-year span, and can be used for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the city including public health and infrastructure.

Mayor Frank Auman previously said that Tucker intends to use the money to address long-term investments in the city as well as short-term solutions for residents. ARP funds must be spent by December 31, 2024.

“We are working hard to make sure that gets deployed in the way that it’s intended, that it helps people that it’s intended to help,” said Auman, at the July 26 City Council meeting. “We’re being intentional about how we deploy those funds.”

Finance Director Robert Porche said the ARP funds have been deposited into a contingent expense account. Tucker is awaiting final guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury before spending the money.

Council members approved several measures to prepare for major projects around the city.

At Rosenfeld Park, Woodwind Construction Company will add new sidewalks and designated parking along Glacier and Smoke Rise Drive for $83,350. A handicap parking space and ramp will be added by the pool, and land is being cleared for a future playground near the pavilion.

Lowe Engineers will survey and design two stretches of sidewalks and trails along Cooledge Road and Hugh Howell for $83,535. Before sidewalk construction begins, all utilities must be located and marked and permits pulled. The project is a continuing effort to fill sidewalk and trail gaps throughout the city, according to a memo.

In order to install a sidewalk on Old Norcross Road, the city hired Atlas Consulting Services for $58,825 to conduct temporary acquisition of 17 easements and five permanent drainage easements. Due to limited right-of-way, the existing topography and the need to install storm drainpipes, it is necessary to acquire easements, said City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt. The sidewalk will run along the west side of Old Norcross Road, from Lawrenceville Highway to Spring Glen Drive.

“After the construction, the property rights revert back to the property owner,” said Hildebrandt.

The city designated Kimley-Horn to install traffic calming measures on Brockett Road in response to a pedestrian death in June. City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt said the city will first try to slow speeds on Brockett Road, then petition Georgie Department of Transportation to lower the speed. The city will This use $58,000 from the SPLOST Quick Response project account to fund the effort.

Hidebrandt said contracts are in place for installing speed detection signs, restriping and adding reflectors to Brockett Road.

Courtney Smith, planning and zoning director, presented a second read of an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance for auto businesses. The amendment calls for changes to improve safety with guidance on vehicle storage, sales and brokerage, environmental concerns and accessibility for emergency vehicles. After City Council passed the ordinance, Smith presented a first read and public hearing on Auto MD, an auto maintenance shop at 2101 Northlake Parkway. A second read will be presented to City Council in September.

In other news:

– Ted Rhinehart was re-appointed to a one-year term on the city’s Urban Redevelopment Agency.

– Council held executive session for real estate and litigation. No votes were taken.

– Tucker is planning Manufacturing Day on Aug. 25 for the first time since 2019. It was delayed, then cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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