A few years ago, Cobb County took a big bet on baseball in the form of a substantial investment in the development of SunTrust Park.
Many citizens were displeased at the deal, concerned about how much of their tax money was going to subsidize the move; longtime Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee was later voted out of office.
But with the park now open, it’s the new chairman’s turn in the hot seat, as the county has announced plans to shutter eight libraries to save money.
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Chairman Mike Boyce told residents that if they wanted to keep the libraries open, they would need to pay additional taxes to sustain them.
The closures would impact nearly half of the county’s 17 libraries, estimated to save the county $2.6 million.
The county’s contribution to the stadium? Nearly $400 million, according to CBS Sports.
During construction, with costs sailing higher than a Hank Aaron homer, the county was lambasted by national media. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called the park relocation “hardly a home run for Cobb taxpayers.”
While comparing money for books versus baseballs is like apples and oranges, it’s not stopping Cobb residents from being miffed about how the entire thing has played out.
The libraries slated to close reportedly host hundreds of thousands of visitors annually—perhaps more than a million. What’s more, 124 staff positions would be eliminated.
Of course, the citizens of Cobb can ask their commissioners to raise millage rates. Time will tell if that approach is a grand slam or foul ball.
- Mike Boyce: Raise taxes or risk several library branch closures [Marietta Daily Journal]
- Braves stadium hardly a home run for Cobb taxpayers [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Nationwide, Cobb County is Getting Reamed for SunTrust Deal [Curbed Atlanta]