Atlanta to Use Transportation Sales Tax Money on Park Expansion

Transportation tax funding has suddenly been diverted to a park project in Atlanta, and a few voices want to know why. The project still gained approval, however.
May 25, 2018, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Atlanta City Council voted to spend some $20.4 million on about three acres of Midtown land that’s part of a planned expansion of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden," reports Maggie Lee.

The vote might seem like a small matter—only three acres of parkland—but the approval faced an outsized debate at City Council. Concerns about the size of the investment for such a small park were raised, as were concerns about equity (a frequent concern with urban revitalization investments in Atlanta), and concern about the origin of $10 million in the funding. Lee explains that final matter:

Only Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong voted against. She said yes, she supports expansion. But it’s a two-part question.

“I’m having some angst over the use of $10 million from the TSPLOST pot,” she said, referring to a voter-approved transportation sales tax.

She said she understands the expansion will have bike, pedestrian and BeltLine access, but she had not seen it on TSPLOST project lists. She said it’s not something she presented to her voters as the purpose of the tax.

For more background on the Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden project, see coverage by Lee from April 2017, when former Mayor Kasim Reed announced the plan for the project. A hat tip also goes to Darin Givens for raising the issue of the TSPLOST funding for the project.

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Published on Monday, May 21, 2018 in SaportaReport
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