Atlanta City Council To Consider Writing Check For $40 Million!

What? There is already a $140 million budget shortfall? Don’t worry about it! Why? Because, it’s for a civil rights museum, so you are racist if you oppose it. Don’t you feel better?

The planned Center for Civil and Human Rights could soon receive its biggest boost — as much as $40 million toward construction costs from Atlanta City Hall. The Atlanta Development Authority board is scheduled to vote Thursday on recommending whether the City Council approves the funds for the project. Construction costs for the center are estimated at $125 million. Center officials are considering an offer from Coca-Cola to build the facility on 2.5 acres in downtown Atlanta, near Centennial Olympic Park.

13 comments

  1. umustbekidding says:

    It is sad to say you are right. Complain about this and you will be called a racist. Jessie Jackson has taught them well.

  2. Doug Shipman says:

    Rogue

    Thanks for writing about the CCHR but I feel compelled to straighten the record. The City Council won’t be writing any checks– the $40M will come from a Tax Allocation District Bond to be issued this year. These bonds can’t be used to balance the city budget, but instead are used for the investment in physical projects that will improve the city.

    The Center will create 1,100 jobs, produce $50M in tax revenue and drive $1.3billion in economic activity over 10 years– all this will improve the city significantly in the future.

    It’s not racial if you oppose it– good people can disagree. All I ask is that we discuss it with a set of consistent facts…

  3. Mike Hauncho says:

    I am all for protect civil rights but since when is it governments job to purchase the MLK paper for $32 million and then pay for this project for $40 million all at tax payers expense without us having a say in the matter? It should be the private citizen or businesses that purchase these items for museums, not the government.

  4. AtlConservative says:

    The first thing that came to mind was “unbelievable,” but then I stopped and thought – the city has no problem handing out money as long as it is to minorities! This is ridiculous! I have been against Milton County and all of the cities breaking off because of the effect on Atlanta, but when they continue to do this crap time and time again – I’m done! Bring on the City of Buckhead! Oh yeah – and down with the majority of the Atlanta City Council!

  5. chattaelauchee says:

    Coke just annouced a $1.1 Billion writedown, per the finanical times today. WTF? if you’re in the red, spend more money. sounds like the fed to me.

  6. Doug Shipman says:

    Not sure if my attempted post came through… trying again. DS

    Thanks for writing about the CCHR but I feel compelled to straighten the record. The City Council won’t be writing any checks– the $40M will come from a Tax Allocation District Bond to be issued this year. These bonds can’t be used to balance the city budget, but instead are used for the investment in physical projects that will improve the city.

    The Center will create 1,100 jobs, produce $50M in tax revenue and drive $1.3billion in economic activity over 10 years– all this will improve the city significantly in the future.

    It’s not racial if you oppose it– good people can disagree. All I ask is that we discuss it with a set of consistent facts…

  7. AtlConservative says:

    Doug,

    Thank you for “straightening the record.” Basically, you are saying, that we are going to issue yet ANOTHER bond that must be paid by the TAXPAYERS in the future for a project that possibly may provide jobs and tax revenue. I want to see the report that lists 1,100 jobs and $50M in tax revenue as well as the %1.3 billion in economic activity.

    Let’s review the recent failures of other TADs… AND the current economic situation of Atlanta. The bottom line is the current council (with a couple exceptions) and the mayor are doing everything in their power to destroy the desire to live in Atlanta proper. Mark my words – if Atlanta continues to spend – via TADs or straight out checks – it will encourage more cities to break off and Atlanta will eventually become the next Detroit.

    You’re right about one thing – this should not be racial. I am opposed based on wasting money! And, if not immediately, eventually raising taxes – which is exactly what these TADs accomplish.

  8. Icarus says:

    Let’s not forget the TAD’s proposed for the Beltline. And The Peachtree Streetcar. I know there are others. It must be really fun spending other people’s money for pet projects.

  9. Doug Shipman says:

    Alt and Mike,

    Let me first admit, I’m no TAD expert (nor do I really want to be) so I’ll stick to the King Papers and the Center. The King Papers are being paid for with 100% private money, not a dime of public funds (including the proposed TAD $$$).

    I’m happy to share the economic study conducted by Deloitte. Here’s a link to the summary– http://www.cchrpartnership.org/Portals/23/Feasibility%20and%20Impact%20summary%20slides%203dec07.pdf

    I come from a business background before getting involved in the Center and you’re right to be skeptical of museums, it’s a tough business model. The CCHR project has worked at every step to make sure this project is a good investment– whether public or private $$$s are concerned. The ability to attract visitors to Georgia, to have them stay multiple days and to use their visits to support educational programs for Georgia kids, create jobs and produce tax revenue– I’d say it’s a good investment that will payback.

  10. AtlConservative says:

    I still think this is a waste of money. It would make a lot more sense to lower taxes to encourage for profit business to move here. You know, where they actually grow! This is an unfortunate, but typical, waste of money. I, too, am a business person. I think it’s tragic to continue to screw over the taxpayers. Oh and one other question – since this is a “Civil & Human Rights” center – will all races be represented?

  11. Icarus says:

    “will all races be represented?”

    Do you really think the white man’s role will be left out of the Civil rights museum?

  12. Doug Shipman says:

    Alt

    There are many stories from the Civil Rights movement that will be told to illustrate the cross-racial aspects of the Movment generally and Atlanta specifically– Mayors Hartsfield and Allen, Robert Woodruff, Rabbi Rothchild, the variety of students in SNCC and many, many others.

    The “Human Rights” aspects will include national and international people and stories including South Africa, India, Ireland, Eastern Europe, Australia and many others. So- yes, of course, the CCHR will represent all races, ethnicities and religions.

    Now that said– there is only so much square footage, so stories will rotate in and out and some will be covered through programs instead of exhibits, but the mission is clearly across racial/ethnic lines.

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