Mayor David Belle Isle (left) would like to see Alpharetta build a 1,400-seat Performing Arts Center. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Alpharetta Performing Arts Center set aside for other project funding

Just a month after issuing an “indication of interest” in getting a performing arts center off the ground, Alpharetta city council members are setting aside the idea.

“It was more of a concept than a project at this point,” said Chris Owens, Alpharetta mayor pro-tempore.

The project never had any formal funding budgeted toward the performing arts center, said Tom Harris, the city’s finance director, though after paying off the bond for the city’s convention center, funds left over from the hotel-motel tax could have gone toward the facility.

Instead, after seeing an increase in cost estimates for several current projects, the council decided to tap into those available funds to deal with the extra costs.

“We made a commitment to our citizens,” Owens said about keeping the financial focus on current projects.

Estimates for the Alpharetta Arts Center Project, which is different than the proposed Performing Arts Center, increased from close to $2.5 million to more than $3 million. Construction of the pool at Wills Park also required an additional $1 million.

Other projects include the 2018 delivery of the Alpharetta Conference Center and improvements to various roads around the city.

The $3 million for the increased estimates are largely due to rising labor costs, officials said.

The idea for a 1,400-seat Performing Arts Center, originally pushed for by Mayor David Belle Isle, is not dead, though.

“It’s still on the table, but it will take some time,” Harris said.

In other Fulton news:

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to freeze high property taxes at 2016 levels.

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