To the editor:
In his Jan. 9 letter (“BeltLine plays by its own rules”), James Martin, the chairman of NPU-D, wrote that the BeltLine project is financed at an 11 percent interest rate. This is simply not true. Money borrowed on a short-term basis for the project currently carries a low, 3.42 percent interest rate, and the recent TAD bond sale gives Atlanta BeltLine Inc. (ABI) the option to refinance if rates become more favorable.
Mr. Martin also wrote that ABI is spending money for television commercials. That is also false. In fact, in yet another example of the private sector’s support of the BeltLine via the BeltLine partnership, Turner Broadcasting generously produced a public service announcement to raise awareness of the BeltLine and has aired it on Peachtree TV.
Last year the BeltLine made progress on every front: trails, transit, parks, planning and affordable housing. We broke ground on Historic Fourth Ward Park and opened the first segment of BeltLine Trail at West End. With the sale of the first BeltLine TAD bonds, ABI finalized the acquisition of the 4.5-mile section of transit right of way in the northeast and capitalized the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund. With MARTA, ABI embarked on the first phase of an environmental impact study for the 22-mile transit corridor. And in the face of the economic downturn and the credit crunch, the BeltLine’s reliance on multiple funding sources ensures that we can live up to our commitment not to draw resources away from critical city services.
The BeltLine is an effort of historic proportions for Atlanta. The public’s input and the contributions of our partners have been critical to the project’s success to date and will be even more important in the future. More than 1,800 people attended more than 75 public meetings in all parts of the BeltLine in 2008, and we anticipate even more participation as more and more
Atlantans learn about the BeltLine via www.beltline.org, BeltLine tours, BeltLine 101 meetings and more.
To learn more about the BeltLine and how you can participate, please visit www.beltline.org.
Terri Y. Montague, President and CEO
Atlanta BeltLine Inc.