The Dunwoody City Council is expected to consider spending surplus funds on expansions for the Spruill Center for the Arts and the Dunwoody Nature Center. 

Members of the Dunwoody City Council and city staff discussed the idea at a May 6 meeting of the city’s Capital Prioritization Committee, which is in charge of prioritizing a list of unfunded capital projects ahead of a possible bond referendum in November. City staff brought the proposal to council at a May 23 meeting. 

At the May 23 meeting, Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki said the Dunwoody Nature Center has $900,000 already in hand for their expansion, while the Spruill Center for the Arts has $1.3 million. According to city documents, the total estimated cost for the nature center expansion is $2.3 million and the estimated cost for the Spruill Center is $2 million with another possible $280,000. 

“One of the things the capital committee looked at was using the general fund balance, which we have about eight or nine months, and using $2 million of that – one for each of these institutions – to go ahead and match them on this,” Vinicki said. 

Vinicki said the city funds would be paid to each institution in installments. Each organization would be responsible for spending the first $500,000 for their respective expansions. After that initial $500,000, city funding would begin to go into effect.

“After they’ve received and paid a $500,000 worth of bills, we’ll … wire them $250,000 for the next $500,000, and do the same thing every $500,000 until we the city have given them $1 million,” Vinicki said. “That way the project starts with their funding and ends with their funding, but we’re the supplement in the middle for it.”

The item is expected to be on the consent agenda at the council’s next meeting. 

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.