Douglasville city council voted unanimously Monday to issue more than $ 14 million in tax bonds for the downtown amphitheater project.
The board vote authorizes the Douglasville Conference Center Authority to issue the revenue bonds.
The tax obligations do not go before the voters because they are reimbursed by the income generated by the project. General bond bonds, like the $ 25 million on the November 2 municipal general election ballot in Douglasville for Jessie Davis Park improvements, must go before voters because these bonds are paid off with property taxes. .
The Authority of the Conference Center would own the amphitheater. The authority also owns the new and old conference centers.
Bill Camp and Raymond James told city council on Monday that the city’s bonds were selling for more than face value of $ 14,375,000 and that the city would bring in $ 15,361,000. City staff attorney Lynn Woodward said the city would only repay the face value of the bonds with interest. The repayment will take place over a 25-year period, Woodward said.
City Manager Marcia Hampton provided an update to the Council of Commissioners earlier this month on several projects underway in the city, including the city green, of which the amphitheater is a part.
Hampton called the city’s greening project a “downtown anchor development.”
Hampton said the city’s green space design was paid for with SPLOST funds and construction will be paid for with tax obligations approved on Monday.
Hampton gave some details on what the project will include in addition to the amphitheater and the city’s greenery. She said the bridge over Church Street that connects the county fire department and the city park will become an entertainment space where individuals can host events on the bridge. The bridge tower itself will have a rooftop terrace where visitors can take in all of the city’s greenery, Hampton said.
Hampton said the city is currently in the due diligence phase with a private developer, Mill Creek, which it says will integrate 10,000 square feet of retail space, 350 luxury apartments and parking as part of the project.
In addition to the city’s green, Hampton told BOC the city is in Phase II of its conference center plan, which it says includes a hotel.
After the BOC meeting, Hampton told the Sentinel that a downtown hotel was the goal of elected officials.
“From that goal, the Convention and Visitors Bureau conducted a hotel study to see if the market was ready,” Hampton said. “The first study showed it wasn’t and the second study, several years later, suggested the market was ready. “
Hampton also provided an update on improvements to several city parks which she said were paid for in whole or in part with SPLOST funds.
She said the Mill Village park improvements cost $ 523,432 and called the park a “catalytic project” next to the former cotton mill site. She said the park would be an “anchor” for the east side of downtown.
Hampton told the BOC that Willing Workers Park is currently under construction with upgrades costing $ 2,011,862. She said the work should be completed in the coming months.
Willing Workers Park “will grow into a larger park and eventually become a starting point for our trail system,” said Hampton. The trail system will connect to trails along the new Highway 92 route that will lead to Paulding County and the Silver Comet Trail to the north and trails to the south that will ultimately lead to Sweetwater Creek State Park, said Hampton.
If city voters approve the November $ 25 million bond issuance, the Jessie Davis Park renovations would include a zero-access pool, wading pool, senior citizen facility, expanded gym and a expanded parking lot, Hampton told BOC.
“The reason this is important is that now that Highway 92 has been relocated, it will serve as a northern anchor point for downtown and create connectivity to downtown that we didn’t really have before. on the north side, ”said Hampton. “This will be our north anchor park. So we hope voters will consider this link (general obligation) to enable the renovations needed for Jessie Davis. “
Hampton said the parks master plan with the trail system is a “10 to 15 year” plan.