The Cobb County Board of Commissioners are reducing the millage rate as part of a five year plan to bring taxes to what they were before the recession. This year our rate was 10.91 and it is expected to be 10.71 mills in 2014.
The Board of Commissioners approved a 30-year agreement in November that will help build a $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County. At least $372 million of the stadium project will be paid for by the Atlanta Braves, which will also invest an additional $400 million for an entertainment district on the 60-acre site. This will include retail, restaurants and other development projects on the location at the intersection of Interstates 285 and 75. Local costs will draw from various sources including payments by private businesses within a special district around the project, the motel/hotel tax and existing county revenues.
2013 marked the 17th consecutive year that the nation’s top bond rating agencies each recognized Cobb County Government with their “Triple A” ratings, keeping it in the top 1 percent of counties nationwide.
Cobb County, designated a “camera-ready” community by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, has seen its film permit activity increase by approximately 23 percent in 2013. Camera Ready is a designation put in place by the state to offer film and television production companies easier, faster and better access to local resources and information. Significant projects filmed in Cobb County this year included “Dumb and Dumber To,” “Necessary Roughness” and “Million Dollar Armand” as well as televisions shows such as “For Better or Worse” and “Line of Sight.”
In August 2013, Six Flags Over Georgia announced plans to build Hurricane Harbor, a new water park that will feature an 800,000 gallon wave pool, multi-slide tower, a “world’s first” single slide tower with two extreme slide thrills and an interactive children’s play area. This project which will open in May 2014 is the first of multiple attractions that Six Flags will be adding in the coming years as part of a multi-million, multi-year strategy to invest in the county for years to come.
World of Faith Family Worship Cathedral is building an 112,000-square-foot Riverside EpiCenter in Austell. The center will include a two-story youth center, 600-seat auditorium, fitness facility, food court, computer center, six-lane bowling alley and conference and banquet center. The facility, which scheduled to open in late 2014, has a budget of $30.7 million.
MiMedx a local biotech firm announced it would add new jobs as result of its move to Marietta, while Infosys, an information technology company with an office in Wildwood office park, plans to add about 200 new jobs there in the next fiscal year.
The Purchasing Department expanded the “Keep it in Cobb” program by offering five “How to do Business with Cobb County” business seminars. A seminar was held in each county district with excellent participation by local vendors. Approximately 55 vendors were in attendance at each seminar. Our final seminar for 2013, held in October, was offered in partnership with the Cobb County School District and was well received by the vendor community.
In January, the Purchasing Department initiated a bid analysis program to provide a comparison of bid prices and to demonstrate the positive results of competitive bidding. As a result of the cooperative efforts of county staff and the Purchasing Department in promoting competitive bidding practices, more than $2 million in savings was achieved in 2013.