Atlanta City Council 
District 8 Update
J.P. Matzigkeit, City of Atlanta

Thoughts from JP

One Last Thing

On December 6, City Council passed a $750 million infrastructure bond and TSPLOST renewal program that goes to voters in May. It contains a lot of good things for all of Atlanta, including Buckhead. I’ve worked hard to ensure District 8 and Buckhead get their fair share, and I believe they have.

Before I get to the details, however, I’ve struggled to find the right “final words” to share as your departing District 8 Councilmember. I’ve settled on “thank you”.

Thank you to the voters who elected me four years ago. Thank you to all city employees, especially our public safety officers, solid waste workers and watershed employees who do the hard work for us each and every day. Thank you to my City Council colleagues who taught me much - especially about Atlanta’s rich history. Thank you to the D8 constituents for being patient with a newbie and allowing me to learn so much. And finally, thank you to my team, Jim Elgar, Katie Howard, Mary Dodson and Jay Smith. They’ve been with me every step of this wonderful journey.

A New Infrastructure Bond and Renewal of TSPLOST

On December 6, City Council passed a $750 million infrastructure bond and TSPLOST renewal program that goes to voters in May. The bond totals approximately $400 million and is similar to the Renew Bond passed in 2015. The TSPLOST, which is estimated to total $350 million over 5 years, is funded through the extension of the 0.4 cent sales tax we now pay. The $750 million would go for Public Safety, Transportation and Parks projects. It would be in addition to spending from the general fund budget and state transportation funding.

Public Safety: Funding will help build the newly approved Public Safety Training Center and a much-needed 911 Call Center — two critical initiatives I helped pass. In District 8, we will see a new Fire Station 26 at Howell Mill and Moores Mill.  District 7, which also includes Buckhead, would receive funds to address long response times in the Peachtree Battle area, which will also benefit District 8. These are projects I’ve fought for and written about for a long time. I am excited they can now happen.

Transportation: Spending on transportation infrastructure will be the most noticeable. District 8 will see much-needed resurfacings on major east-west streets that take extra pounding from Buckhead commuters, including West Paces Ferry, Blackland and Mt. Paran Roads. Other neighborhood road resurfacings will happen on Muscogee, Tall Pines and Laurel, and sidewalk repairs and fill-ins will be made along West Paces Ferry, Howell Mill, Moores Mill, Roswell Road, W. Wieuca, Northside and more. The bond also includes funding for yet-to-be-determined city-wide and district-selected signalization, traffic calming, resurfacing and sidewalk projects in District 8.

Parks: Chastain Park will receive funding for a new parking facility.  When combined with recently approved impact fee funding for the gym expansion and the nearly completed Renew-funded Chastain Park Avenue streetscape expansion, nearly all the major projects of the Chastain Park Conservancy’s 2008 Master Plan, a $35 million-plus, 20-year vision for Atlanta’s (now) second largest park, will be complete.

Funding is also earmarked for trail and playground work at Ardmore, Beaverbrook and Tanyard Creek Parks, and for renovations at the Chastain Park pool. In addition, money is allocated for continued planning on a Blue Heron-Chastain Park connection that eventually would provide access to the Beltline.

As the debate continues about the future of Buckhead, I am excited that these much-needed projects are springing to life.

So with that, I’ll leave you with how I started this last edition of our newsletter: Thank you for the opportunity to serve. It has been an honor, a pleasure and an experience I will forever treasure.