solar panel installation

by Robin Kemp

CORRECTION 1/19: distinguishes between two model mile locations/programs

Speed bumps on residential streets and solar panels on top of community buildings, along with a “model mile” path for Main Street are up for consideration at the Forest Park City Council’s Tuesday, January 19 meeting.

The meeting was pushed back a day because of Monday’s MLK Day holiday. While the city generally requires public comment to be submitted by 12 noon the Monday of the meeting, this week’s meeting is on Tuesday due to the MLK Day holiday. The published agenda did not appear to extend the comment period to Tuesday. However, the link for submitting comments is www.slido.com and the event code is 011921. Include your full name and address with your comment.

To join the Zoom work session at 6 p.m. or the regular meeting at 7 p.m., visit https://bit.ly/3oRSt6C with meeting code 812 4453 2106 and passcode 750804. You can listen in by phone at 1-301-715-8592 or watch via the city’s YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3qB3R7x.

Please consider helping your less tech-savvy neighbors so they can see and/or hear the meeting.

The work session is when council hears presentations and asks questions about proposed ordinances and resolutions. The regular meeting is when they decide whether to vote on different agenda items and either take a vote or hold an item for a future meeting.

This week, the council will consider whether to:

  • Hire three new staff for the Finance Department: a procurement assistant, a staff accountant, and a business license assistant. The city says this is “to increase the overall efficiency of the department, create more accountability to the community for the public’s funds, and enhance the services provided to the public/community from the Finance Department.” The request comes on the heels of revelations last summer by former City Manager Albert Barker, Jr. that some contracts had gone missing, that departments had traditionally done their own procurement, and that the city had no centralized tracking system for its contracts.
  • Amend the city ordinance that allows beer and wine sales at city-sponsored events so that private special events that get a license and permit also can sell alcohol.
  • Put speed bumps in neighborhoods, either in locations that, according to the city, pose “a particularly identified speeding problem” or by 51 percent of the residents of a particular neighborhood signing a petition to put in a speed bump.
  • Put any unclaimed bail money into the city’s general fund if the money isn’t claimed after one year. The city would have to mail a notice to the last known address of the person who posted the bond, as well as publish a copy of that notice on the city’s website for at least 90 days, before taking the money.
  • Consider a staff recommendation to put a Model Mile on Main Street in what is called the “Activate Main Alignment.” Last year, another Green Model Mile was projected to run alongside Starr Park, turn left on West Street, and end at M.D. Roberts Elementary School. The projects would be some of the first pieces of a Beltline-like recreation path where people could walk, run, ride bikes, and so on.
  • Accept free technical assistance from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to look into converting the Recreation Center and Hartsfield Community Center to solar power. The idea is to give residents somewhere to go in case of an emergency power outage of 48 to 72 hours. The program is free but city staff would need to work with GEFA to get the study done. See a detailed PowerPoint presentation on the program at https://gefa.georgia.gov/document/document/solar-resiliency-technical-assistance-program-webinar-presentation/download. You also can watch a recording of the full presentation for details about the program and technical details about different solar energy configurations.
  • Consider a change to the zoning code that would exempt businesses inside flea markets from certain business distance limitations and concentrations.

You can read the full agenda on the city’s website at https://bit.ly/3qwzFu1.

Find your councilperson at https://www.forestparkga.gov/citycouncil.