The City of Atlanta has finally settled its years-long dispute with Atlanta Public Schools. Depending on whom you ask, the deal either moves a roadblock in the way of the most progressive project in the history of Atlanta, or it's an instance of the city pulling spoons from the mouths of babes so it can afford a big sidewalk/development magnet.
This whole mess started back in 2005 when the school board diverted education tax funds to the city for the Beltline project. The city expected, at that point, it would be flush with cash as a result of the (at that time) booming real estate market. But, when the Great Recession reared its ugly head Atlanta became strapped for cash and indebted to the school system for millions.
As part of a new deal struck last week, the city will immediately pay $14.8 million and transfer land to the school system. It will also pay about $5 million in February to settle any outstanding nonpayment and $10 million in 2017 as a good faith payment.
In return, the amount due from the city to Atlanta Public Schools was reduced to $98.4 million from $162 million. Officials are spinning this a positive, since Atlanta schools get a lot of up-front cash, which they sorely need, and the Beltline can get back to buying land and building a giant sidewalk. (But as we know, it's a really nice sidewalk).
· Report: Beltline-APS Battle is Literally About to End [Curbed]
· APS Dispute with Beltline Finally Resolved. Maybe. [Curbed]
· Atlanta Public Schools Tired of Beltline Funding Fight [Curbed]
· What happens now that the Atlanta BeltLine dispute is over? [Atlanta Magazine]
· ATLANTA SCHOOLCHILDREN LOSE $63.6 MILLION IN APS/BELTLINE DEAL (UPDATE 1) [APN]