Atlanta's Beltline Project Soldiers On -- But Without a Lot of Cash

<p>After the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the Beltline project could not use school funds from a tax-increment financing funding source, what next?</p>
February 25, 2008, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"Advocates for Atlanta's Beltline -- a $2.8-billion public works project that would connect 45 Atlanta neighborhoods in a ring of trails, parks and transit -- took a severe blow on Feb. 11 when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of one man who said the tax allocation district designed to fund the bulk of the endeavor violated the state Constitution. The ruling stripped the project of nearly $860 million. In the aftermath of that decision, advocates are hoping that a legislative fix being cobbled together "in real time" will reinstate the cash. If not, it'll be up to private donations and joint ventures to bring it to life. The biggest fear is that features of the project may be scaled back, which would most likely mean the costly transit component."

"But for now, the city vows to push on. The groundbreaking ceremony for the first trail takes place this month."

"'It's disappointing, of course," [Beltline visionary Ryan Gravel] says of the ruling. "But the Beltline's always been centered around creativity and interesting partnerships. I think the project is solid and people want it. So now we have to be creative and come up with another way.'"

Thanks to Dale Coburn

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Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 in Creative Loafing
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