Six acres at Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park are carved out in a master plan for a great lawn. At several meetings this year, city council members have reviewed plans, discussed costs and are now being asked to approve funds to pay for it.
In a September meeting, Councilor Lynn Deutsch questioned where the money was coming from to pay for the great lawn and said that she wasn’t sure there was a current need based on her observations of summer event attendance.
At that meeting, Deutsch said that while she wants the music out of Pernoshal Park and into Brook Run Park where there is not a neighborhood right there, she said she wondered if the city can justify the couple of million dollars for the great lawn.
The great lawn price tag is on Oct. 22, city staff was to ask council members to amend the city’s 2018 budget to appropriate funding for the great lawn construction project.
In a memo to council, Finance Director Chris Pike wrote that during 2018, a few events have occurred that allow the city to amend its 2018 budget.
“Though many accounts are involved, this mainly involves appropriating funding for the great lawn construction project and moving funding around to account for the SPLOST (instead of HOST),” Pike wrote.
In a resolution amending the budget, the great lawn was referenced on several line items including transferring $2,150,000 out of General Fund Savings for the lawn.
Several other city expense and budget items were on council’s consent agenda which typically does not involve discussion. These items include park facilities, a city staffer’s salary increase and police equipment.
Council members voted unanimously to approve all items on the consent agenda which included:
• 2019 city budget approval which includes $100,000 for a Tilly Mill sidewalk project and $10,000 for early voting to take place in Dunwoody
• Bathroom construction at Windwood Hollow Park for $175,660
• EcoClassroom construction at the Dunwoody Nature Center for $95,150
• Parking lot paving for Brook Run Park’s baseball fields for $105,283
• Firearms simulator for the police department for $112,500
• 3 percent salary increase for the city clerk
Another consent agenda item was to add the city manager, Eric Linton, to the city’s retirement program. In a resolution, the details were spelled out including that the city will contribute 17 percent to Linton’s retirement program instead of the ten percent offered to all city employees. Linton is fully vested in the retirement program after the council’s approval of the resolution.
Linton was hired by the city in December 2014. The resolution stated that his annual base salary is $192,878.40.