May 8, 2024 - Politics

Politic-ATL: Atlanta officials propose data center ban

Illustration of a podium with a gold seal; the seal has a peach and says "POLITIC-ATL."

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Welcome back to Atlanta City Hall, where this week lawmakers are crafting legislation concerning data centers, the Beltline and sustainability.

🚫 Data limits: Atlanta City Councilmen Jason Dozier and Matt Westmoreland have introduced bills to prohibit the construction of data centers near transit stops and the Beltline.

  • Dozier said via X on Monday that they want to preserve those corridors for housing, retail, transportation, and green space.
  • He also said Atlanta's data center construction spiked by 211% between 2022 and 2023, which is the largest increase nationwide.

💰 Beltline: On Monday, the Atlanta City Council OK'd plans to use $10 million in grant dollars from the Atlanta Regional Commission to fund construction for the Beltline's Southside Trail.

Johnny Hollman Sr.: On Tuesday, City Council approved a $3.8 million settlement with the family of a man who died last year after being tased by an Atlanta police officer.

⚡ Sustainability: Atlanta will use $500,000 from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund to kickstart an Atlanta Community Energy Trust Fund.

  • The new fund is designed to support Atlanta's clean energy projects through finance sources that include city appropriations and federal funding.

🛣️ Highway work: City Council is considering $3.2 million from the federal transportation department to design and engineer the Midtown Connector Project.t.

  • The Midtown Connector would create 15 acres of green space over Interstate 85 between North Avenue and Fifth Street, GPB reports.
  • It's a separate project from the Stitch, which would have 14 acres of green space above the downtown connector between the Civic Center MARTA Center at West Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue.

👔 Youth employment: Atlanta City Council OK'd a $2 million allocation to the Summer Youth Employment Program to ensure Atlanta's young people have access to paid jobs this summer.

🚰 Water drama: Officials from Atlanta and Fulton County are planning to meet on May 9, hoping to resolve the city's claim that Fulton owes City Hall $5.7 million in unpaid water bills, the AJC reports.

🗳️ Speaking of water: Atlanta voters will decide during the May primary if they should renew the city's 1% municipal option sales tax to support water and sewer projects, maintenance and operations for another four years.

⚖️ Court judge: Mayor Andre Dickens recently appointed Judge Pierce Hand Seitz, the first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on Atlanta's Municipal Court.

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