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Fayetteville eyes big traffic shift on Hwy. 85

A proposed traffic realignment for Fayetteville north of the Old Courthouse Square promises some fundamental changes.

The Fayetteville City Council on Thursday will begin looking at a way to help mitigate traffic congestion and improve the traffic flow on both sides of North Glynn Street near downtown.

The council will hear a proposal using 1-cent sales tax dollars that would eventually link North Jeff Davis Drive to North Glynn and reconfigure the area of Hood Avenue, Ga. Highway 92 and North Glynn Street. Still another project would extend Lafayette Avenue to Church Street.

The council will consider asking Fayette County to participate in the two SPLOST projects. The projects are the Hwy. 92/Hood Avenue/Jeff Davis Connector and the Lafayette Avenue Signal and Extension, City Engineer Don Easterbrook said in a recent memo.

“These projects are on both our (current) SPLOST lists. We propose a cost sharing arrangement similar to the Jimmie Mayfield Widening project except we would also request the County to pay for right of way acquisition associated with the 92/Hood project because it is a significant cost,” Easterbrook said.

Still essentially at the beginning of the proposal, Easterbrook on Monday said it would be a couple of months before the city would know the preliminary cost associated with the projects.

Current plans west of North Glynn Street call for the moving the traffic signal from Hwy. 92 a short distance south to the intersection with Hood Avenue. West on Hood Avenue just a short distance from North Glynn would be the location of a roundabout that would funnel traffic northeast and northwest onto Hwy. 92.

Motorists at the new traffic signal at Hood Avenue would be able to continue across the intersection on what is proposed to be an extension of Kathi Avenue that would, via another roundabout, link with North Jeff Davis.

Yet another facet of the overall concept would have a traffic signal installed on North Glynn at Lafayette Avenue, and Lafayette extending across the street on a new segment of roadway that intersects with Church Street. And finally, Church Street would be extended north from its current dead-end at Georgia Avenue up to the roundabout at Kathi Avenue.

The plans and an accompanying map can be viewed by downloading the Aug. 19 agenda packet at http://fayetteville.govoffice.com/.

The council Aug. 19 will also set the 2010 millage rate. The rollback rate for 2010 will total 3.24 mills, said Finance Director Lynn Robinson. The rate will include 2.345 mills for the General Fund budget and .895 mills for the Capital Project Funds budget. The total millage for last year was 2.988 mills.

This year’s rate is considered a rollback, or perhaps a roll-up, due to the reassessment of real property, most of which saw a decrease in value over the past year, Robinson said.

Robinson said the millage equivalent of reassessed value shows a deficit of -.252 mills over fiscal year 2009’s mill rate. The digest for calendar year 2010 decreased by a negative 7.68 percent over calendar year 2009 for the reassessment of existing real property, Robinson said. Other changes to taxable digest decreased by -1.31 percent for calendar year 2010 over calendar year 2009, mainly due to motor vehicles. Therefore, the overall digest decreased by -8.99 percent, said Robinson.

Robinson said the General Fund millage rate for 2010 will be 2.345 mills and Capital Projects Fund’s millage rate will be .895 mills for the 2010 digest, adding that the total rollback millage of 3.240 mills only reflects the reassessed value. A mill will be worth $843,430 which equates to total digest taxes of $2,732,713.

Robinson said city staff budgeted $2,769,154 for fiscal year 2011 in anticipation of the decrease of -8.99 percent. The General Fund budget will need to be amended to reflect the deficit of -$36,441, Robinson said.

Also at the meeting, the council is expected to approve a proposal that would do away with the distance restriction in shopping centers and on the Old Courthouse Square that separates churches and businesses serving alcohol.

City staff is proposing an amendment to the Alcohol Ordinance changing the distance requirement between shopping centers, commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square and churches. The ordinance currently states that businesses serving alcohol must be at least 100 yards from a church.

“We have noticed a trend lately where temporary church facilities are locating in (shopping) centers thereby restricting the allowed use of those commercial centers by retailers of alcoholic beverages,” city staff said. “The proposed amendment would exempt businesses within (shopping) centers and commercial properties located on the Old Courthouse Square from the 100 yard distance limitation from church facilities.”

As it stands currently, and as it applies to shopping centers and to the south and west sides of Old Courthouse Square, a business already located within 100 yards of a storefront that becomes occupied by a church would be grandfathered, but a business that wants to move in where a church is already operating in an existing store front less than 100 yards away would not be allowed to do so.

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