Marietta Daily Journal
by Hilary Butschek
January 21, 2015
MARIETTA — The Gateway Marietta Community Improvement District, which covers close to 1 square mile along Franklin Road, could soon be covered with security cameras.
The CID board wants to install cameras as a security measure in the CID’s boundaries because the crime rate there is high, said Trey Barry, board chairman.
“I think it’s just as much about security as it is the image of security. It’s a resource for the area,” Barry said.
The idea to install cameras stems from steps the Fulton Industrial Boulevard CID took to increase safety there, Barry said.
“I think we’re in a lot of ways similar to that CID,” Barry said.
While the Fulton CID hired a full-time security manager to patrol the CID and watch the cameras, Barry said the Marietta CID isn’t there yet and won’t be for a long time. The first step is installing cameras, which he thinks will reduce crime even if no one is watching the footage.
“I think that it’s more the appearance. It’s not necessarily monitoring the cameras and using them as much as it is knowing that there are cameras out there,” Barry said.
Barry said the specifics of where the cameras will be placed, how much it will cost and who might monitor them are yet to be determined. The CID will hear back about a grant it applied for in conjunction with Marietta and Cobb County that will give it $180,000 to study the area of Franklin and Delk roads.
The Livable City Initiatives study will determine what the area needs, such as pedestrian access, road improvements or security measures, Barry said.
CID administrator Joe Knight said he will look for grant money to install the cameras.
“We’ll need to see if there are grants for security cameras. I think the (Department of Justice) offers some,” Knight said.
But first, before the CID can install the cameras, it has to get permission from the state Legislature, said Lynn Rainey, the CID’s attorney.
Rainey said CIDs in Cobb are only allowed to spend the tax revenue they get from properties inside the district on infrastructure improvements, but the Marietta CID board will ask for a change in the county’s CID law to allow the money to be spent for security measures. Rainey said the legislation has a good chance of passing.
“Even though the entire General Assembly votes on a local act, if the local delegation supports it, typically the rest of the General Assembly votes in favor as a courtesy,” Rainey said.
Knight said he will talk to Cobb legislators in the next month to get their support for changing the law.
EXPANDING THE CID
Members of the CID board also expressed interest at their Tuesday meeting in expanding the CID’s boundaries.
The Gateway Marietta CID, which was formed last June, includes 53 commercial properties in a 0.84 square mile area along Franklin Road.
The CID board approved setting its millage rate at 5 mills, the maximum a CID can levy in Cobb, and will bring in about $200,000 in revenue each year, Rainey said.
Knight said he wants to see the CID expand west to include Life University and Kennesaw State University’s Marietta campus, the former Southern Polytechnic State University.
That expansion could bring in about $50,000 more in tax revenue each year, Knight said.
Knight also plans to try to extend the CID’s boundaries south toward Delk Road, which could bring in as much as $100,000 more in tax revenue each year.
Barry said he has heard interest from people who own properties near the CID in joining the tax district.
“I think there’s genuine interest in other property owners joining the CID,” he said.
The Marietta CID is small, Barry said, because it was created quickly, so now it needs to work on expanding.
“A lot of the reason why we are so small is that we put this thing together in a few months. So, we didn’t have the right amount of time to really launch. Generally CIDs take about a year or two to launch, and the time frame really forced us to have a small CID,” Barry said.
The board also elected a new member at its Tuesday meeting to fill a vacant seat. Jeff Shaw, president of Fairlead Commercial Real Estate, LLC, which is the company that owns Parkway Place, where the CID holds its meetings, said he was excited to be a member of the board. Shaw said his company recently bought the high-rise office building in the summer of 2014, and he is looking forward to seeing the Franklin Road area grow.
“We’d like other people to see the same vision that we did for the area,” Shaw said.
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Marietta CID wants security cameras to monitor Franklin Road