The Brookhaven Parks Bond Oversight Committee holds its first meeting Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road. The meeting is open to the public.
Members to the volunteer oversight committee to include people with capital project oversight experience and representatives from the north and south sides of the city were recently appointed by Mayor John Ernst and approved by the City Council. They are:
Sean Pharr, one-year term: Pharr is a program manager at AECOM, an engineering firm that at provides design, consulting, construction and management services to private and government clients.
Lori Gray, one-year term: Gray lives the south side of Brookhaven.
James Baugnon, two-year term: Baugnon is a developer of large mixed-use communities with ECI Group and has experience with the Trust for Public Land.
Mickey O’Brien, two-year term: O’Brien is a landscape architect/urban planner with AECOM. His experience includes managing the design and construction of several parks, including Piedmont Park and Centennial Olympic Park. He currently serves on the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Grounds and Facility Committee.
Deborah Proctor: Proctor lives on the north side of Brookhaven. She is a Master Gardener and former Historic Preservation and Open Space Planner for Guilford County in Greensboro, N.C.
The committee is expected to advise and make recommendations to the city administration, the yet-to-be hired project management firm and the City Council on the implementation and execution of the construction of park projects approved as part of the $40 million parks bond approved by voters in November.
On Jan. 22, the city sold $38,855,000 in bonds to fund the parks upgrades – a bit less than the $40 million maximum approved by voters last year. That city secured a 3.41 percent interest rate will pay $26,038,735 in interest to bond-holders, according to city officials. The total debt-service costs to taxpayers as the bonds mature between 2020 and 2049 will be $64,893,735.
Some parks bond funding has already been approved. Slightly more than $2 million of the bond was paid to DeKalb County to purchase the front 8 acres of Brookhaven Park. The council recently approved a $201,226.61 contract to Ed Castro Landscape Inc. to remove invasive plants from the parks and some green spaces. The parks bond ballot included $1 million be dedicated for invasive plant removal. The remaining approximate $800,000 from this category can be used anywhere else in the park system as authorized by the parks bond, according to a city spokesperson.