Stone Mountain City Council approves traffic study on Rockborough Street

City of Stone Mountain Municipal Building. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA – The Stone Mountain City Council held their first March meeting Tuesday evening, where they approved resolutions related to traffic-calming, street lighting, and budget amendments introduced at the last meeting.

The council still did not reach a consensus on approving the Jan. 4 meeting minutes or selecting a Mayor Pro Tempore, issues that they have struggled with since the beginning of the year. The meeting was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a decision that also divided council members last week.

Citizen comments heard at the beginning of the meeting included resident Ginger Criswell, who expressed concern that there isn’t enough time for citizens to speak during meetings. She also advocated for traffic-calming measures to be taken on James B. Rivers Memorial Drive.

Resident Terry Fye spoke to propose a cannabis decriminalization ordinance for possession of less than one ounce of cannabis for the city of Stone Mountain, which he said would be a better solution than “just placing people into jail.”

Former council member Diana Roe Hollis spoke as a resident to advocate for city council returning to in-person meetings in City Hall, due to COVID numbers recently decreasing in DeKalb County.

The minutes of the Jan. 28 special called meeting were approved 4-2 with the amendment that references in the minutes to Chakira Johnson as Mayor Pro Tem be removed.

Minutes of the regular meeting on Feb. 1, the special called meeting on Feb. 15, and the regular meeting on Feb. 15  were all approved 5-1. Gil Freeman voted no on these items.

Freeman proposed that the council move unfinished business – approval of the minutes of the Jan. 4 meeting, council selection of Mayor Pro Tempore, and appointment of a council member to the Downtown Development Authority – to the work session. The movement passed and the council will discuss this business at the March 15 work session.

In other business:

– A traffic-calming study was unanimously approved and will be conducted between Rockborough Drive and Rockborough Terrace.

– Two streetlights will be added to Sheppard Way for an estimated $23.20 monthly charge to the city. The movement passed unanimously.

– A virtual planning session will be held on March 19 to discuss SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) capital project planning and ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) fund prioritization and planning.

– The council unanimously approved a proposal for grant administration and grant management, including management of ARPA funds. The estimated value of ARPA-related projects is $2.3 million over a four-year period.

– The Stone Mountain Color Vibe 5k Fun Run event will be held on June 11 at VFW Field.

– The council approved an amendment to the FY2022 budget, increasing funding by $18,196 for the public safety department’s vehicle expenses.

– The council plans to form a Juneteenth celebration committee at their next work session.

– Council member Clint Monroe continued to assert that it is not safe to return to in-person meetings while the state of Georgia is still experiencing many deaths from COVID-19.

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