Stone Mountain City Council discusses traffic-calming and street lighting in work session

City of Stone Mountain seal on the historic railroad depot. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA – The Stone Mountain City Council held a special called meeting and work session on Tuesday, February 15.

At the special called meeting, the council approved amendments to the FY2021 and FY2022 budgets. At the work session, the council discussed traffic-calming measures, street lighting, upcoming events, and more. Because it was a work session, no votes were held on agenda items. This meeting was held virtually on Zoom and Facebook Live due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The council’s unfinished business, which included approval of the meeting minutes of the regular session on January 4, council selection of the Mayor Pro Tempore, and appointment of a council member to the Downtown Development Authority, are all slated to be discussed and voted on at the March regular session. These have been contentious agenda items since the beginning of the year.

In the special called meeting, budget amendments to FY2021 and FY2022 were approved unanimously. The amendments to FY2021 were year-end adjustments. Municipal fees decreased by $31,000.

The council amended the FY2022 budget to allocate $11,700 for new Dell laptops and associated accessories for each council member.

In the public comments section, citizens expressed concern about a sidewalk being needed on Mountain View. Another person was concerned that the council’s in-person retreat scheduled to be held this weekend will not be transparent to the public.

The council also heard monthly public reports from the City Clerk’s office and the Code Compliance, Public Safety, and Public Works departments.

In the public works discussion, council members discussed exploring virtual court and online adjudication options due to risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Council member Clint Monroe spoke against holding in-person court sessions, citing the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

The 2022 Council Retreat will take place on Friday, February 18 from 9am to 4pm and Saturday, February 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Georgia Municipal Association facility at 201 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA, 30303. Seating for public attendance will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. In accordance with the City of Atlanta’s mask mandate, attendees will be required to wear a mask at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

The council introduced several new business items which will be discussed further at the March meeting:

-A traffic-calming study is requested to be conducted on Rockborough Drive. A petition conducted saw 29.9% of respondents request a traffic-calming study, which reaches the threshold of 20%.

-There is a request for increased street lighting on Sheppard Way.

-The mayor and council plan to set up a planning session to discuss SPLOST Capital Project Planning and ARPA Fund Prioritization and Planning.

-The city is seeking grant administration and grant management services, including management of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 activities. Respondents will send proposals by April 1, evaluations and interviews would be conducted in April, and the anticipated start date would be May 4.

-The city is considering holding a 5k fun run event called “Color Vibe” in June 2022. This would be the sixth Color Vibe event the city has held. The proposed date is Saturday, June 11.

Recently, more residents have been using the Facebook Live chat to express their opinions during City Council meetings, although Council members do not appear to be able to see or address these comments during the meetings. Some residents were upset that public comments were taken during the meeting outside the designated public comment timeframe. Others accused City Council members of being hypocritical about the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unclear if City Council plans to moderate this chat in future meetings.

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