Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul gave his annual State of the City address to the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber on Tuesday. (Bob Pepalis)

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said higher interest rates have slowed the pace of development in the city during his annual State of the City address on Tuesday.

Depending on your credit rating, it’s very difficult to make a lot of these projects financially viable, Paul said at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s luncheon at city hall.

One proposed project that hasn’t moved forward since zoning was approved for the property is the redevelopment of the North River Village Shopping Center.

The owners of the North River Village have consistently proposed a redevelopment project that would include 80 townhomes in addition to multi-family and retail, he said. The city is waiting to get the final plans presented by the owners.

The city is working on its own development project on parcels in the two blocks south of City Hall as Phase II of the City Springs project, Paul said. The city changed the character area of the properties in its development code as one of the steps toward developing this property.

Other city projects include a new Fire Station 5 in the city’s eastern panhandle that’s under construction. And renovations are coming for an office building at 620 Morgan Falls Road to use as its police headquarters and municipal courthouse. Demolition of the interior to make way for the renovation will soon begin, Paul said.

City struggles with sales tax, water negotiations

Sandy Springs and other cities had difficulties negotiating with Fulton County over local option sales tax revenue distribution. So Paul said he has been working on a task force of the Georgia Municipal Association and the state Association of County Commissioners to find a less contentious way to negotiate the distribution percentages.

The city has another struggle in reaching an agreement with the City of Atlanta over the water system, as he told the Sandy Springs Bar Association a week ago. Sandy Springs water customers have paid surcharges.

“We have figured out since we’re closer to the source of the water and it comes through here to go to Atlanta, it’s cheaper to service Sandy Springs than it is Atlanta with that water. So there’s no justification for a surcharge,” he said.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.