Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

November 7, 2012

Lucas reports on conference

Cordele — During Tuesday’s Cordele City Commission meeting, Commissioner Curtis Lucas reported on the land bank conference that he attended in October in Michigan.

David A. Forehand and Susan Leger-Boike also attended the meeting in Kalamazoo, MI. Lucas said the city is beautiful. “They had done an outstanding job with their land bank,” he said.

Forehand and Leger-Boike will attend the next commissioners’ meeting, he said, to discuss the bylaws and the tools it will take to make the land bank project successful here.

Lucas presented both ommunity challenges and opportunities. He also stated that the Center for Community Progress exists to help the growing need in America's cities and towns for effective, sustainable solutions to turn vacant, abandoned properties into vibrant places.

He encouraged other commissioners to visit the website, www.communityprogress.net for more information.

While he had the floor, Lucas also thanked all who were involved in the demolition of the dilapidated  houses on 19th Ave. Acting City Manager Edward Beach showed before and after pictures of the area. The last picture was taken on Oct. 22 after the area had been cleaned, raked and smoothed out.

 Beach who also is the city’s finance director presented the city’s five year history of tax levy and millage rate based on the preliminary county tax digest. City governors gave tentative approval to a 10.995 millage rate which is the same rate that has been levied since 2007. Final approval is planned for Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Based on a net city digest of $214,995,600 which is about $16 million higher than last year’s, the city’s millage rate of 10.995 will generate some $176,000 more revenue than the same rate last year.

Because this is actually an increase in taxes levied, the city is required to have three public hearings before the rate can be finalized. Those hearings are planned for Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., then again on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in Room 217 of City Hall.

According to information that Beach shared, the proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $26.

The 10.995 millage rate is expected to generate about $2,363,877 in total ad valorem taxes for the city. This compares to $2,187,068 that the same rate generated last year.

Also, during his report, Beach presented the 10th St. S. pedestrian corridor concept report and timeline. He said the city’s new Flash Foods on 16th Ave. E. is opening for business this Friday, Nov. 9 and construction on the Chick-fil-A building is “progressing nicely.”

In a Boomtown follow up meeting on Oct. 23, Beach said the main focus was to work on obtaining local banking support as the revitalization of downtown Cordele begins.

Officials are trying to reorganize a Boys/Girls Club in Cordele, and Beach said a group of local people met recently with Ronnie Jenkins, southeast regional service director for Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Jenkins suggested the establishment of a local chapter as a not-for-profit corporation and proceed with the make-up of a board and monetary/work commitments from the community.

Finally, Beach said a Main Street/downtown revitalization committee meeting was held Nov. 5 to inform all members about the recommendations from the statewide Boomtown committee, and to build support for this downtown project.

Housing and Urban Advancement director, Irene Cantrell said the city is in the process of working to accommodate every person's needs in all of the city buildings in Cordele.

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