Tucker city staffers update City Council on roads, parks and finances

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Tucker city staff and partners delivered updates on projects happening around the city on Oct. 25, the last City Council work session before the Nov. 2 municipal elections.

Parks and Recreation Director Rip Roberts said six projects are underway. In Smoke Rise, the William Probst Memorial is awaiting a permit from the state, and materials are in for the boardwalk at Probst Park. Sidewalk installation is finished at Rosenfeld Park, and the parking lot will be painted soon. A playground there will be built in time for spring weather.

The Church Street property sidewalk is in, grading of the land is finished and sod will be laid. In the next two weeks, a fitness court will be installed. Next steps include decorative fencing on the LaVista Road side of the property, the installation of benches and trash cans, and LED lights in the parking lot. Henderson Park sidewalk has been permitted. Lastly, four new signs are being replaced at Tucker parks around the city.

In other news:

— A presentation by City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt and intern Jack Smith showed the progress Tucker has made with road conditions, traffic-calming and sidewalks.

Eight digital signs were placed in Phase I of studying traffic speed on Lilburn Stone Mountain Road, Brockett Road, Old Norcross Road, Rosser Road and others. In three to four months, the signs will be moved to other locations for Phase II.

Completed road projects this year include Tucker Streetscapes, sidewalks on Cowan Road, Lynburn Drive and Elmdale, traffic signals at U.S. 78 and Brockett Road and Chamblee Tucker at Livsey Road, intersection improvement at Hugh Howell and Smoke Rise Elementary School and street resurfacing.

Projects underway include resurfacing Rosser Road, adding sidewalks to Church Street at Lynburn Road and installing Marta bus pads. Seven projects are in the design phase.

— A financial audit of FY21 by Alden and Jenkins firm disclosed Tucker has total assets of $36.4 million, offset by $2.7 million in liabilities. The city is reporting a net position of $33.7 million. General revenue is generated by property, franchise, business and insurance taxes.

— Shelbia Jackson, director of DeKalb Entertainment Commission, looked at Tucker’s role in the film and TV industry. DeKalb County is the number one location for film production in Georgia, she said. A range of landscapes like mountains, lakes, cities and rural land make DeKalb County attractive to filmmakers, as well as the proximity to Blackhall Studios, Third Rail and Eagle Rock Studios (in Tucker).

Jackson said the DEC’s responsiveness and organization makes DeKalb a great place to film.

“Evaluations and recommendations from various departments and partners are compiled onto one online platform that allows us to have direct communication with the applicant and production staff,” Jackson said.

It’s an idea City Council candidate Shawn Woods has been promoting since the start of his campaign. Woods, who runs a production equipment rental company and a diesel fuel distribution company in the film industry, is campaigning on the creation a full video database with drone and parking diagrams for residential and commercial locations for films.

“Instead of coming to in to scout the city and see what Tucker has to offer, they can sit in L.A. or in their home and locations scouts, directors and producers can look at everything we have in Tucker,” said Woods, adding it will increase tax revenues.

Productions in Tucker include The Wonder Years, P-Valley, Sweet Magnolias, MacGyver, Black Mafia Family, The First Lady and A Very Loud Christmas.

“Over the next three years, the industry will grow by over 7 percent,” said Jackson.

The next City Council meeting is Nov. 8.

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