Northlake Alliance May 2010 Meeting Notes

Northlake Alliance May 2010 Meeting Notes

My neighbor, Bethany Dorminey, was kind enough to share her notes from the May 2010 meeting of the Northlake Alliance.”

Last Thursday evening I attended the annual Northlake Community Alliance (NCA) meeting at Briarlake Baptist Church.   The meeting was very informative and well-attended.  I wanted to pass along some information that was covered.  They have a website in case your interested in looking around for some additional info-

Dekalb County Environmental Resources (Ted Rhinehart)

·         Dekalb County has high participation in the recycling program and yard waste composting (Friday’s pick up) and because of that, we have about 70 years left in Dekalb’s landfill space;  which in their opinion, was very good.  Separation of recycling and yard waste saves us 20% of landfill space.  Most residents don’t know this (I didn’t) but the county offers free dirt that has composted from our yard waste across the street from the jail on Memorial Dr.  You can pick it up yourself.  They indicated they’re the only county in the state who offers this.

·         The “Park Pride” organization allows for neighborhoods and associations to sponsor an improvement or clean-up project to a park and in return, the neighborhoods can get support ($) from the county for beautification for their neighborhood.  An example they shared, was a neighborhood that cleaned up a stream and the county replaced their subdivision sign that was in disrepair. 

“Year in Review” Tom Ulbricht (NCA Chairman)

·         The current economic conditions have made business growth difficult over the last year.  In summary here are changes to local businesses

o   Lost Fudruckers, Taco Bell and Schlotsky’s

o   New- Dr. Clinebell (Dentist) is building a new 2-story building on LaVista across from Briarlake Baptist Church, Dr. Vanstrom (Dentist) opened a new office across from the Sports Authority Plaza, Twisted Taco has opened in the old Chili’s location, Seasons (former Crescent Moon) has reopened at the mall and a new dentist office will be opening on Montreal Rd.

o   Anticipated- The Citgo next to McDonald’s will be demolished and replaced with a Chevron gas station.  A new hotel “Hilton Home to Suites” will be built near Fidelity Bank by the I-285 northbound ramp at Northlake Pkwy.

o   Completed- The “Villages at Northlake” has 299 apartments across from the Hampton Inn on Northlake Parkway.

·         Phase II of the Northlake area streetscape improvements will continue.  They expect to begin Phase II in about a year, which will complete the sidewalks and lamp posts that will extend around the entire mall (LaVista Rd, Henderson Mill Rd & Northlake Pkwy).  Also, any dead trees/bushes that were planted at the various intersections will be replaced by the contractor.

·         Intersection realignments will occur at LaVista & Frazier Rd and LaVista and Oak Grove Road in the next few months.

·         Stimulus money will fund new hardware for traffic lights around the Northlake area.  Work has already started to replace old equipment.  This should result in “smarter” signals and help ease congestion around the mall and I-285 @ LaVista.

“What’s happening at Northlake Mall” (Simon Representative)-  This was the topic I anticipated the most, but it was unfortunately it was a disappointment.  The person who was supposed to address this topic at the meeting had to leave early.  The person who covered for her wasn’t very informative or specific.  According to him, “There are lots of great stores that have opened or are opening” when pressed for specifics, he told the group that they were a school uniform store, mattress store, new Dollar store, and a really nice gift shop”.  He said Simon is working on or considering plans for a number of improvements (upgrades to infrastructure and the exterior) and that he is very optimistic about it but could not share details at this time.

County Commissioners, State Senate and House Representatives– there were a number of elected officials there that gave a brief 1-2 minute update on important issues.  They included- Jeff Radar, Steven Henson and Connie Stokes- the focus of their updates seemed to be on the top of budget shortfalls ($5 million for Dekalb County).

Master Gardener Walter Reeves was the keynote speaker and absolutely fantastic.  I wasn’t very familiar with him before his talk but he has a column in the AJC, a talk show on WSB and a show on Public Television.  His expertise in local gardening was amazing.  He lives in Northlake area and encouraged us all to “beautify” our neighborhoods.  He has written several books too.

Bethany Dorminey