OK, as I wrote last week, I’m going to do a better job of getting info out there. Sometimes things are more easily written than done. Oye!
Anyway, I did hear back from a representative from Tri-Land Properties regarding the expected opening of The Crossings at Four Corners in Smyrna. And it now looks as if the 96,000 square-foot Kroger and accompanying fuel center will not be ready for the Christmas rush.
At least that’s what I was told by someone from Tri-Land, whoindicated a targeted Jan. 19, 2012 grand opening date. As far as other tenants, leases have been signed with T-Mobile and a nail salon with more to follow.
I failed to fully address two other items last week, one being the construction of the Campbell Road Bridge. Really there’s not a whole lot to report as it’s still scheduled to be opened sometime after the end of the year.
I did, though, swing by and take some pics, including some of a bunch of Croy Engineering workers not working. OK, so maybe they were possibly on a break, but I do know there are those in both the pro- and anti-City/County government camps who question the bang for the buck taxpayers are getting for the money that is awarded to the Marietta-based engineering company for construction projects.
I know Commissioner Bob Ott has issues with sending $1.7 million to Croy (or anyone for that matter) for a TSPLOST alternative analysis study that won’t be finished until months after voters go to the polls on TSPLOST next summer.
The other project is the Smyrna Fire Station No. 5, which will be built on Cooper Lake Road near the intersection of the East West Connector. Construction on the LEED certified building has yet to begin, but the City has been providing updates on its website here.
Speaking of fire, in these dry conditions there was a minor brush fire off Oakdale Road just after midnight on Wednesday. Chief Jason Lanyon told me his department sent out an engine and a ladder truck and the blaze was quickly extinguished.
Chief Lanyon was also at this week’s city council meeting, where the Smyrna Optimist Club helped City officials with a proclamation that Oct. 14 will be Respect for Firefighters Day in Smyrna. The Optimist Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Smyrna this year, will welcome a multitude of firefighters at their regularly scheduled Friday 7 a.m. meeting at American Legion Post 160 that day.
Who won’t be meeting next week are the Smyrna Planning and Zoning Board on Monday night since Community Development does not have any items on the agenda.
And let’s wrap it up here with a return look at Smyrna Commons. As we reported earlier this week, the council approved a measure at its Monday meeting to pay the remaining balance owed on its purchase of Smyrna Commons apartments with surplus funds from the City’s unrestrictive reserve fund. After the city finalizes the sale of the property to the Cobb County School District, it will still owe a remaining balance of $3.35 million.
Many council members at the meeting reiterated their support of the entire Smyrna Commons purchase and eventual sale to the CCSD.
The apartments and the impending new elementary school are in Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz’s Ward 3. “I think this is a critical step in doing one of the things that I have been working very hard to do the last few years, which is to improve education in our community,’’ she said. “I think having an elementary school going into a spot where there is very much a need for a new elementary school is a good start.’’
Councilman Jimmy Smith reminded citizens that had the City not stepped in when the property went up for sale, the apartments would most likely have remained just such, albeit with a new owner. He called the entire Smyrna Commons purchase and sale an “investment in the future of the city.’’
Councilman Ron Newcomb acknowledged that the perception that Smyrna schools are underperforming, whether true or false, was not the fault of the area’s “hard-working principals and teachers.’’ Rather it was the “transiency rates in the neighborhoods feeding the schools’’ that is producing an adverse affect.
“We as a city can control what happens in the neighborhoods that feed the schools,’’ Newcomb said. “Every opportunity we have to reduce the number of renter occupied - to right the balance, which is still up there at forty-something percent of the community is renter-occupied - to right the balance, we’ve got to jump on that. That has got to be a strategic mission.’’
Added Mayor Max Bacon: “The thing that drives our community is education and the schools. I can remember going to ballgames at Campbell and hearing gunshots there on a Friday night. It’s an investment in our future.’’
It must be noted that the council voted 6-1 to pay the remaining balance with surplus funds from the City’s unrestrictive reserve fund. Councilman Wade Lnenicka, who in 2008 did vote in favor of purchasing Smyrna Commons, remained consistent with his February no vote to authorize the Smyrna Downtown Area Development Corporation to enter into a purchase agreement with the school district.
“I would have rather that we held onto the property for another few years, gotten enough rental revenue to break even on it and then look for another buyer,’’ Lnenicka said this week. “I’ve got some concerns about the elementary school being that close to the high school. But I hope it’s successful; hope families get involved in it. I hope it makes Smyrna successful.’’