By Melissa Weinman Brookhaven Reporter
Brookhaven has set aside funds to begin improvements to the city’s parks and sidewalks before the end of the year.
City Manager Marie Garrett told City Council Oct. 22 that there is $400,000 to be split among sidewalk projects in the city’s four council districts and $200,000 for use in the parks.
“It’s to allow you to have some visual impact this year,” Garrett said. “That includes enough funding to provide 1,000 feet of sidewalk improvements in each of your districts.”
The 2013 fiscal year ends Dec. 31. Garrett asked council members to suggest sidewalk improvements or construction that could be completed quickly and cheaply.
Councilman Jim Eyre said one such project is extending a sidewalk in his district. He encouraged other council members to meet with public works staff as soon as possible to ensure that their sidewalk projects can be handled.
“It’s a relatively easy project but it’s not going to happen overnight,” Eyre said.
As with sidewalks, Garrett encouraged City Council to think of small improvements that could be made in Brookhaven parks by the end of the year.
“The criteria should be what is quickest and most visible impact?” Garrett said.
The city is preparing to begin a parks and recreation master plan. Council members discussed waiting to begin any big projects in the parks until after that planning process is complete.
There are no parks in District 4, the southern portion of the city represented by Councilman Joe Gebbia.
But Gebbia said he would like to work out a land sharing agreement with the DeKalb County School system that would allow the city of Brookhaven to use the athletic fields at Cross Keys High School on the weekends.
Gebbia said an arrangement would provide green space for residents in District 4 and help the school.
“We’re in a dire situation with no funding at all being put into that school,” Gebbia said. “At the same time, we could be making some very valuable improvements that would not only benefit residents from a parks standpoint but also benefit students.”