The Buckhead Community Improvement District is moving ahead with a plan that could lead eventually to construction of a new park above Ga. 400 near the Buckhead MARTA station.

With a 5-2 vote, the CID board on April 15 approved spending up to $250,000 on the first phase of a study of the park proposal. Two later phases of the study could bring the total cost to $875,000, CID officials said.

Members of the board of the CID, which taxes businesses in a defined area of Buckhead to raise money for transportation improvements, have proposed the park as a way to improve connectivity in the area. But the proposal has divided board members. While some argue a park in the area would be a community asset, others say it could cost tens of millions of dollars and that the CID should concentrate on improving Buckhead traffic.

“This is supposed to be for the benefit of the public,” board member and Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook told other board members before voting against appropriating the money. “But we haven’t heard from, or apparently been interested in hearing from, the public. I’m obligated to listen to the public. Until I do that, I’m not going to be on the bandwagon.”

But board member Herbert Ames said he was impressed by the groups of engineers and other professionals that  out together proposals to win the bid for the study. “Bringing together the prospect for what this park could be was a very exciting experience.”

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