Sandy Springs will apply for a $750,000 grant, and a $2.75 million loan through Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank [GTIB] programs to help fund the realignment of Windsor Parkway at Roswell Road.
Intersection improvements totaling $3.7 million are needed to accommodate the planned 21-acre development by JLB Partners and Core Property Capital, which will include luxury apartments, retail, office and restaurants.
State Road and Tollway Authority oversees the GTIB grant and loan programs and applications.
Before City Council approved submitting the applications, city manager John McDonough explained that debt service on the $2.75 million loan, at a 2.4 percent interest rate, would be paid for by JLB Partners and Core Property Capital through tax abatement on the 21-acre property.
Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny, the sole dissenting vote on submitting the applications, was concerned about possible default, which would put the city on the hook for the money.
“The biggest debt we have is for the fire trucks at [$3.5 million]. We are now about $4.2 million, I believe, in debt,” she said. "[The grant and loan applications] sounds good; good interest rate. We’re not tying our hands right now but to add 2.75 million in debt, that is more than half of what we currently have after 8 years [as a city].”
The grant would not have to be repaid and the $2.75 million loan would be over a 10-year period. McDonough said, “I think the important thing to point out is there is no operational impact on a year over year basis for the city because it’s being paid for by the developer.”
The deadline for submitting the applications is Oct. 31. If the loan application is approved, City Council is not under obligation to accept the funds, McDonough added.
Councilman John Paulson said the Windsor Parkway intersection will likely be improved before the multi-use development is complete. “Let’s set it up so that the developer has some kind of backstop,” he said. “So that if in fact he does go bust, we have either a bond or something on this that allows us to recoup some of this money.”