Dunwoody’s newly formed Public Facilities Authority, made up of the mayor and City Council, formally approved at its Jan. 22 meeting a 40-year contract between the authority and the Dunwoody Nature Center for the Nature Center to continue using the city-owned Dunwoody Park as its home.

A driving force for establishing the Authority is the ability to enter into long-term agreements with partners for public land and facilities rather than one-year renewable leases,” Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker told council in a memo. The City Council is only allowed to enter into one-year agreements for use of public property.

“The Dunwoody Nature Center is undertaking a capital campaign to add facilities to expand programming and to meet the growing needs of residents and visitors who use the park. They are requesting a 40-year usage agreement to provide assurances to corporations and foundations that funds donated for capital improvements will be used for the stated purposes and remain under the control of the Nature Center,” Walker states in the memo.

The General Assembly last session passed a bill allowing the city to create the Public Facilities Authority. The authority was created in July when the council approved a resolution establishing the council to serve as members of the authority.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.