Meeting for the last time on the third Tuesday of the month, Columbus Council this week is to talk about buying a Brennan Road trailer park to secure 17 acres of public land for a southside Enterprise Zone.
The asking price for the Grand Oaks Trailer Park, listed by address as 405, 425, 450, 453 and 455 Brennan Road, is $885,000. The land belongs to Grand Oaks Properties Inc., which with the city is to develop a relocation plan for the residents. The city has agreed also to pay half their relocation costs, up to $200,000.
The city would purchase the property with bond money.
Joe Riddle, who heads the Community Reinvestment office that manages city-owned property, said the government already owns 3.6 acres across the road. The city hopes the land one day will be suitable for a mixed-use development.
This will be council’s last meeting on a third Tuesday because city leaders recently decided to cut that meeting from their monthly schedule. The new schedule takes effect next year, so there will be no council meeting on Jan. 20.
Also on council's agenda is a resolution asking the Georgia General Assembly to up Columbus’ hotel-motel tax from 7 to 8 percent, to provide more revenue for promoting tourism.
Currently the 7 percent tax on visitors is distributed this way: The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau gets 3 percent; the Civic Center gets 2 percent; the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts gets 1 percent and so does the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.
The Columbus Sports Council and arts council get part of the visitors bureau revenue.
State law this year was changed so local governments can seek an increase in the tax. The extra 1 percent would go to the visitors bureau, with 1 percent of its allocation devoted to the sports council.
The hotel-motel tax generates more than $4 million a year. Increasing it by 1 percent would bring in $550,000 more.
Among other measures councilors will mull are appropriating more funds for a South Commons skate park and for improving 10th Street east from Bay Avenue.
City administrators are asking council to add $155,000 to the $770,000 already devoted to the park built by California Skate Park Inc. The additional funds would pay for lighting, restrooms and a shelter.
The city would amend an agreement with Uptown Columbus to complete the 10th Street improvements, using a company that’s already working on extending the Chattahoochee Riverwalk from 12th to 13th Street. A little more than $1 million would be spent on sidewalks, storm sewer repairs and repaving the street.