By John Schaffner

The Perimeter Community Improvement District (PCID) recently updated local organizations on what the business-community-driven organization has accomplished to improve infrastructure, transportation and lifestyle needs for the Central Perimeter area, which borders Brookhaven.

The message was one of a business community’s commitment, through taxing itself, to keep the Perimeter market competitive and to return an investment that benefits all who own property, work and play in the area.

Actually, there are two community improvement districts under the PCID structure: the DeKalb CID and the Fulton CID.

Through the past 10 years of work on behalf of the CIDs, the Perimeter market has attracted more than half a billion dollars of infrastructure projects. Although the PCID does not have funds in every project, it has business leadership and advocacy in each, said PCID President and CEO Yvonne Williams.

She said the PCID promised DeKalb County investors in 1999 and Fulton County investors in 2001 that additional self-imposed property taxes would result in a better, stronger and more vibrant Perimeter business district. That, she said, is a promise kept.

The two CIDs have committed to investing more than $26.8 million in self-imposed taxes on commercial properties to make the improvements and assist local and state government partners to move projects forward.

The PCID has delivered at least three major milestones for the Perimeter Center:

• Completion of the Perimeter Center Parkway “flyover” bridge connecting the north side of I-285 with Lake Hearn Boulevard south of I-285.

• The I-285 bus rapid transit (BRT) study to provide a transit link between the Perimeter Center market and the Cobb Galleria market. The PCID put up $600,000 for the study.

• A contract with C.W. Matthews Contracting for the Hammond Drive half-diamond interchange with Ga. 400 to ease traffic flow. The PCID committed $5 million to the project.

In addition, the two CIDs have delivered:

• 25 upgraded intersections throughout the Perimeter (spending $5 million in 2008).

• Improved streetlights and traffic signal timing.

• Spent $7.2 million on Perimeter Center Parkway and the streetscape.

• More than 5 miles of new sidewalks.

• Districtwide median maintenance and enhancements (spending $375,000 in 2008).

Three members of the PCID board helped explain the importance of the Perimeter market to the 25 business and civic leaders who attended the March 25 breakfast meeting at the headquarters of Cox Enterprises on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road: Dale Hughes, senior vice president of Cox Enterprises and Fulton CID vice chairman; Chuck Altimari, vice president of UPS and Fulton CID chairman; and Diane Calloway, president of Specialized Title Services and Fulton CID treasurer.