Cobb will have to fork over some cash before it hosts the Major League Baseball All-Star Game this July.
County Finance Director William Volckmann has asked commissioners to appropriate nearly $2 million to cover costs associated with the game. A significant slice of that is for law enforcement, with $575,000 alone going toward the purchase of a video surveillance network. $678,000 will go to overtime for police, fire, 911, DOT, and communications workers. Other line items include police training costs, added bus service and a high altitude security monitoring system.
Volckmann expects the investment to pay big dividends for the county, he writes in the agenda item, especially as the All-Star Game could be one of the first big sporting events for a mostly vaccinated America.
“In the past, hosting cities have experienced an economic impact ranging from $37M to $190M,” Volckmann wrote. “Many of our surrounding hotels/motels are already completely sold out and the travel and tourism industry, restaurants and event venues will certainly benefit from the All-Star Game. We anticipate a robust return on this requested investment.”
In other business, after technical difficulties brought down cameras and electronic security measures at the Cobb County Superior Courthouse earlier this month, commissioners will need to pay back an emergency expenditure to repair the aging system.
On March 3, the sheriff’s office began experiencing “standard technical issues” with the system, spokesperson Saba Long said. Attempting to reboot the system, deputies continued to have problems, and had to man the courthouse’s entry points on foot while repairs were made.
County Manager Jackie McMorris made an emergency expenditure of $50,000 to cover the cost of the repairs, which must be ratified by the board. Long, meanwhile, said the sheriff’s office is looking to spend part of the $1.6 million allocated from extra SPLOST revenues to courthouse security on state-of-the-art upgrades for their equipment.
Commissioners will also be asked to consider a resolution expressing the county’s opposition to House Bill 302, sponsored by State Reps. Martin Momtahan, R-Dallas; Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire; and several other Republicans. The bill, passed by the Georgia State House on March 5, aims to mandate that regulatory fees collected by local governments only be used for regulatory operations, and not general expenditures.
The bill would also invalidate the method Cobb uses to calculate its construction fees, derived from a formula prescribed by the International Code Council, according to Cobb Community Development Director Jessica Guinn. The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association both oppose the bill, Guinn added.
The county did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how much revenue it collects from regulatory fees, or what the estimated impact of the bill’s passage might be.
The Board of Commissioners will also consider the following items:
♦ Accepting two bomb-disposal suits, a digital x-ray system and a portable explosive trace detector as part of a counter-terrorism grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission.
♦ The allocation of $105,000, granted to the county by the Georgia Department of Human Services, to various non-profits including homeless shelters, after school and GED programs, mental health services, and transitional housing.