Mayor Bacon Tells ‘State Of City’

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon

“We are in great financial shape,” Mayor Max Bacon told an audience of business leaders in his “state of the City’ address in July. The city’s $70.5 million budget is seven percent lower than last year and the general fund has declined 12.3 percent over the past five years, while the millage rate has stayed the same at 8.99.

“It will be a long time before we go up on the millage rate,” Bacon said. “At least not while I’m in office.”

Bacon spoke to a capacity crowd at a combined meeting of the Smyrna Business Association and Smyrna Division of the Chamber of Commerce July 12.

The Mayor noted that the city started the year with “our largest turnover on Council, with four new Council members.”

Among the goals of the Council are retention of business and families, focus on education, business inventory, the market village and Main Street, annexation opportunities and regional awareness of Smyrna.

The city has completed several projects in the 2005 SPLOST program, including adding South bound turn lanes on the East-West Connector at Cooper Lake, congestion relief on South Cobb Drive, the railroad quiet zones and the Spring Road trail extension.

Ongoing projects include Concord Road turn lanes and median, South Cobb Drive widening From Atlanta Road to Bolton road, landscaped median on Windy Hill, and the pedestrian bridge over the railroad on Spring Road.

Projects in the 2011 SPLOST budget include Concord Road improvements, the Belmont Hills Road connector, Ward Street improvements, adding a landscaped median Village Parkway, plus upgrades to the jail, technology and a new recycling facility.

Bacon said that the city is working on a $6 million infrastructure upgrade in the Belmont Hills area. “This is important in attracting new business to the city.”

While the Belmont Hills project is stalled due to financing, a new Smyrna area elementary school is under construction. “It will have a domino effect on what else goes there,” Bacon said. The school will replace Brown Elementary and relieve overcrowding at several other schools.

With a population of 51,271 in the last census Smyrna has seen a 25 percent increase in population in past 10 years. The median age is 33.7 with 23 percent under the age of 18 and a median household income of 54,603. Nearly half of Smyrna residents have earned four-year college degree, putting it 15 points higher than the Metro Atlanta region.

“By the next census, the County seat of Cobb will be in Smyrna,” Bacon said jokingly.

From the August 2012 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.