Atlanta city officials plan to hold a public vote March 17 on a $252 million infrastructure bond although the final list of projects the bonds will pay for is still being worked out.

“We’re a billion dollars behind [in repairs],” District 8 Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean said after the vote. “It’s absolutely imperative we begin chipping away.”

City officials say Atlanta faces an infrastructure backlog of more than $900 million to repair or improve roads, bridges and sidewalks, and upgrade critical public buildings and facilities.

Public information meetings to discuss the bond referendum will continue at various locations around the city through mid-February.

Meetings are scheduled for the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Jan. 13, Atlanta City Hall on Jan. 20, Atlanta Speech School on Jan. 27, Atlanta Fire & Rescue Station #28 on Jan. 29 and Shepherd Center on Feb. 17. All of the meetings are scheduled to last from 6 to 8 p.m. For a complete list of meetings and more information on the infrastructure bond, visit

Atlanta City Council voted 12-0 on Jan. 5 to proceed with the vote in March.

District 7 City Councilman Howard Shook earlier had questioned whether enough of the bond money would be spent in Buckhead to convince residents of the area to support the

But Shook said he voted for the March referendum because of improvements in the list and changes such as shortening the term of the bonds to 20 years from 30 years in order to reduce the overall

“I know we’re making progress,” he said. “… It’s moving in a much better direction.”

Shook said city officials could continue negotiating over the project list until as late as the fall, but he hoped the list would be worked out before the March public vote. “We’d like to do it as early as possible,” he

The city, in a press release, said the proposed general obligation bonds will raise $188 million for street and bridge repairs as well as traffic improvements, and $64 million for maintenance of municipal facilities.

“We can’t come apart. We’ve got to fix this stuff,” Shook said.

Joe Earle contributed to this report.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.