A newly created Brookhaven Public Facilities Authority and the City Council have approved a resolution to issue up to $15 million in revenue bonds for the construction of the Peachtree Creek Greenway.
The debt will be paid by revenue created from the city’s hotel-motel tax. Last year the General Assembly approved the city’s request to raise the hotel-motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent specifically to create a revenue stream for funding the Greenway, a linear park planned to eventually extend to the Atlanta BeltLine.
The revenue bonds will have the full faith and credit of the city behind them, meaning should revenue from hotel-motel taxes not be able to pay off the debt, the money will come out of the city’s coffers.
The bond debt is expected to be for 24 years. Bond payments are expected to be $675,000 a year. CFO Steve Chapman told the council, who make up the Public Facilities Authority, at its June 28 meeting it is not likely the revenues of the hotels in the city would fall below a point that their taxes would not be able to cover debt payment.
The Public Facilities Authority was created so the city could issue debt to pay for construction of the Greenway at one time rather than to wait each year for hotel-motel tax money to come in, according to city officials.
Mayor John Ernst was named chair of the Public Facilities Authority, Councilmember Joe Gebbia is the vice-chair, City Clerk Susan Hiott is secretary and CFO Chapman is treasurer.
The city is hoping to break ground on the first mile of its 3-mile section of the Greenway this fall. The first mile falls between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road.