Judge Approves Bonds For Braves Stadium

July 26, 2014 9:55 am

by Charlie · 19 comments

A judge cleared the way Friday for Cobb County to issue bonds to fund taxpayers’ contributions for the new Braves stadium being built just North of Cumberland Mall.  The AJC reports:

The judge overruled objections from about a dozen county residents, who sought to block the public financing plan for the new stadium and the issuance of up to $397 million in bonds to fund construction of the facility, which is scheduled to open in 2017 and has a $622 million budget.

Leonard ruled in a 38-page opinion, released at 5 p.m. Friday, that the exhibit hall authority has the legal right to issue the bonds, that the new stadium is a legitimate public expense, and that its agreement with the county government to pay off the debt is also legal. He overruled 12 legal objections to issuance of the bonds.

I’m sure the opponents will continue to talk about “other plans” to stop the stadium, just like some still claim they are fighting the Falcons new stadium.  These are both done deals folks.  Time to move on.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Rambler14 July 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

and we’re still waiting for that “Plan B” alternative to TSPLOST that the Tea Party/Sierra Club coalition promised us.

Bridget Cantrell July 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

I’m leaning towards the BRT the more I learn about it. Now that I know what it is (and isn’t), I can vouch that my mother and I successfully/easily used the same system while in Prague and London. If the safety issue is addressed (bright lighting, cameras/monitoring with quick dispatch, etc), I would support this. We could likely even get civic organizations to keep them clean much like Adopt-a-Mile.

notsplost July 28, 2014 at 8:38 am

You may be waiting a long time to ride that BRT. At last week’s Board of Commissioners meeting all of the items related to the BRT were removed from the 2015 SPLOST.

It will have to be resurrected next year perhaps as a stand-alone project voted on in a general referendum (2016?)

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

And I’m fine with that. Let the will of the people prevail. I just hope Tim Lee gives the pro-crowd enough time to educate the anti-crowd before putting it up for a vote.

There are a lot of wonderful merits to the BRT and from a cost vs traffic relief vs reality of installation – it really is the best option that’s been put forth. It will take three years to build, will have immediate impact, and we already have the space needed going down the middle of 41.

Question to the politicos: what are the rules around calling a special vote – say mid-2014? That gives almost a year for residents to learn about BRT and then three years to get the project completed prior to the Braves stadium opening.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 10:45 am

*mid-2015

Harry July 28, 2014 at 11:03 am

Assuming the 2015 SPLOST is approved, this “stand alone project” would raise the sales tax to 8%? Seems like a non-starter.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 11:04 am

Why can’t we do a fractional SPLOST?

Harry July 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

It would have a better chance as part of a 2015 SPLOST instead of trying to pass it as a 2016 SPLOST, fractional or otherwise.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

Alright – put two fractional SPLOSTs on the ballot this year.

If the BRT was included in the original 1%, make the regular SPLOST .92% and the BRT .08% .. or whatever it works out to. I’d tax myself for some legitimate and near-immediate traffic relief – AND the ability to say that once again Cobb is ahead of the rest of Georgia on forward thinking/planning. Then the anti-crowd would have nothing to b!tc# about. Bada bing.

Charlie July 28, 2014 at 11:22 am

Fractional SPLOSTS are not currently allowed under GA law. John Carson had a bill to allow them last session but it died in the Senate on Sine Die.

Bridget Cantrell July 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

Sigh. Cobb putting forth useful legislation, and it dying on the vine.

Harry July 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

As I understand it, Lee said no to BRT being included as part of the 2015 SPLOST. Maybe his political instincts told him it’s a no-go?

notsplost July 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I wasn’t at the meeting but got a detailed report from someone who was. Lee tried desperately to include some small projects related to the BRT as a way to preserve the option to get some federal funding, but he was out-maneuvered by several activists and the other Commissioners who apparently had their own reservations about the lack of transparency in attempting to sneak in the BRT elements at the last minute.

Political considerations may also have been at play, if the thinking was that by jettisoning the BRT the entire SPLOST will be more likely to pass.

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Attempting to fund a new high-capacity transit line with a voter-approved SPLOST (and federal funding) is a dead-end at this point. Cobb should be funding the line by selling shares of CCT and/or GRTA real estate futures to private investors.

Charlie July 28, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Just. Please. Shut. Up.

Ed July 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

lol.

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Can’t shut up…because the private sector is where the money for high-capacity transportation is. To not look where the money is because of some kind of misguided ideological bent is extremely foolish and shortsighted.

Charlie July 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm

And to continue to allow your inane diatribes on here is equally foolish.

The problem isn’t what you believe, it’s just that so much of what you believe isn’t true. – Reagan, paraphrased

I’m not subjecting myself or our readers to you any longer.

notsplost July 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The bigger story here is the number of different groups coming together to try and fight these huge giveaways of public money to private billionaires.

Despite the snarky comments about Cobb Country Club Republicans not caring there were about 30 individuals who came forward and tried to file motions to intervene in the Braves stadium bond validation hearing.

At least we have the beginnings of something here, when combined with the effort in Vine City. If all these folks from different walks of life and political inclinations can work together it might just wake some of the rest of the voters up.

Is it really so smart to derive more satisfaction from watching others lose than seeing yourself win?