There are some strong words going back and forth between the Atlanta Public Schools and Mayor Kasim Reed over the Atlanta Beltline Project. WABE has the full story here.
It all started back in 2005 when there was an contract between the City and APS to use some of the property tax revenue from APS to fund the Beltline in exchange for fixed payments from the city to APS. Then the economy tanked and the contract was restructured.
Now the APS chief is threatening legal action for the $19 million that is owed to APS from the city. This threat came up in the middle of a fundraising appeal for the Beltline and Mayor Reed was less than thrilled and had this to offer “Nobody is going to negotiate at the end of a gun so if you’re going to take hostages you better be prepared to shoot the hostages.”
All this over what is one of the more popular public initiatives being built. The folks in Cherokee and Fayette may say what they will about the Beltline, but the people of Fulton and DeKalb want the project. With APS threatening to sue over the failure to abide by a contract that assumed real estate value would always increase, it will be interesting to see the effect on the Beltline development.
It’s very easy to see both sides of this argument as valid, I just hope both sides can fix the issue without a long protracted legal case that will only burn through the already limited funds that both sides have.