County by county news for Sunday


Cobb schools to spend $11 million on buses

Cobb County Schools Board of Education recently approved buying 125 new school buses for about $11 million. SPLOST 4 funds will cover $10 million of the cost with the rest coming from a Georgia Department of Education bond.

Of the district’s 1,115 fleet, 527 buses are between 10 and 15 years old and 180 buses are more than 16 years old.

The purchase will include 25 exceptional child buses and 100 conventional buses. Tucker McQueen for the AJC


Sugar Hill adding first youth council

For the first time, Sugar Hill is forming a youth council with students from Lanier High School, North Gwinnett High School, home and alternative schools. Students grades 9 through 12 will learn about the city council, how information is gathered, decisions are made and provide valuable input from their demographic. Information: Karen Huppertz for the AJC


Forsyth approves plans for Hindu center

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved plans for a Hindu temple in west Forsyth. Chinmaya Mission of Alpharetta got a conditional use permit to a operate a religious worship center and priest residence off Pittman Road. Under the final version of the proposal, new and existing structures on the property would be limited to 35,000 square feet with an increase in parking spaces to at least 400-or the maximum spelled out by the county’s development code. Neighbors had concerns about traffic, parking, etc. Mark Woolsey for the AJC


Schools savings account grows

The DeKalb County School District’s financial buffer grew about 50 percent from the last report, but is still less than half what it needs to be.

Months ago the school district was projecting around $20 million in its “fund balance” — the financial cushion that school systems and local governments strive to maintain. On Monday, district finance chief Mike Bell said the fund had grown to $30.9 million.

That’s a big increase from the 2011-12 school year, when DeKalb was reporting a $14.5 million deficit. Bell told the school board Monday that the deficit actually reached $21.4 million, so the savings account has grown by more than $50 million since then. Yet that is still well shy of the goal, currently $66.7 million, which equals a month’s operating expenses.

Bell attributed the increase in savings to a reduction in legal expenses and other fiscal discipline. Ty Tagami

Race to replace Boyer has begun

Candidates for a special election to replace former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer can qualify for the race.

The special election will be held on Nov. 4, the same day as the general election, and candidates have until noon Wednesday to get on the ballot.

Boyer resigned and pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.

District 1 covers about 140,000 residents in north DeKalb, which includes the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody.

Mark Niesse


Roswell beginning intersection improvements

The Roswell Department of Transportation has kicked off two intersection improvement projects. Crews have begun work adding a westbound right-turn lane on Old Alabama Road at Old Alabama Road Connector. The project will also add about 400 feet of sidewalk along Old Alabama Road. Construction will begin Monday on Ga. 140/Holcomb Bridge Road at Warsaw Road extending a westbound left turn lane along Holcomb Bridge. Both projects, set to finish in October, may result in periodic traffic delays.

Mark Woolsey for the AJC