Stonecrest Alliance reaches fundraising goal
Ken Watts | 8/23/2013, 6 a.m.
DECATUR Organizers of the proposed city of Stonecrest have raised the $30,000 they need to study the feasibility of incorporating a large swath of south DeKalb County.
Jason Lary, the Stonecrest City Alliance chairman, said Aug. 21 the group has raised the funds to pay for the feasibility study required by state law.
At a news conference on the steps of the DeKalb Courthouse in downtown Decatur, Lary said the alliance has signed a contract with the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia to begin the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of December.
The area proposed for incorporation covers nearly 61 square miles and is home to about 77,000 residents.
“We are grateful that so many citizens and businesses in our community contributed to fund this study, which will determine whether we have the financial capacity within our borders to incorporate as a city,” Lary said.
If the Vinson Institute determines that the project is feasible, the General Assembly will decide in its 2014 session whether to put a referendum on the ballot for the residents of the area.
Stonecrest city organizers began fundraising in May, and it took three months to raise the funds. Lary said they have “enormous momentum” supporting the efforts.
More than 300 people contributed. Lary said contributions ranged from $10 to $250.
“We received an overwhelmingly positive response from residents and businesses throughout this area of southeast DeKalb County,” he said.
The Stonecrest city movement is one of several under way in the county. Lakeside completed its study in June. It is one of eight cityhood placeholder bills in the General Assembly.
The proposed city of Lakeside in the Northlake area raised its $30,000 study fee in June. Residents in the Briarcliff, LaVista Hills and Druid Hills neighborhoods also are exploring forming cities.
County leaders have complained that new cities drain tax revenue from unincorporated DeKalb and that organizers are cherry picking the most valuable assets.
Interim CEO Lee May said on July 25 that he will push for new legislation to make the cityhood process more equitable.