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DeKalb Comissioners urge lawmakers to "pause" incorporations

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The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution urging state lawmakers to take a one-year “pause” on creating new municipalities. County officials want state lawmakers to hold off on making a decision on any cityhood proposals for one year.    

At the board’s Jan. 14 meeting, interim DeKalb CEO Lee May had originally asked for a three-year moratorium on cityhood proposals, but amended his resolution to one year. With three cityhood proposals already on the table before state lawmakers, May said he put forth the resolution to encourage lawmakers to hold off on making any decisions this year on incorporations. 

May said he wants to know the economic impact the incorporations would have on DeKalb, and would like to see if issues and concerns that prompted communities to seek cityhood might be worked out with residents in those areas. May said the county is hiring more police officers, more firefighters, beefing up beautification and economic development efforts this year.     

Meanwhile, state lawmakers, who returned to the Capitol on Jan. 13, are studying cityhood proposals to determine if voter referendums should be held. The three community groups that have submitted cityhood proposals are Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker. 

The incorporation of Stonecrest, a fourth proposal, did not receive a favorable feasibility study. Stonecrest was not deemed viable as a city because it would be too costly to start up and operate, the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government said in its findings. 

The institute’s 59-page study showed that Stonecrest as a city would cost $45.4 million to operate annually, compared to the $31.1 million it would generate in revenues. 

Jason Lary, who headed the Stonecrest City Alliance, has said he will resubmit information with a smaller population for a new feasibility study. That information will not be ready, however, for state lawmakers to consider Stonecrest for cityhood during this year’s Legislative Session.

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