“The state of the City of Alpharetta is remarkable,” declared Jim Gilvin, Mayor of Alpharetta, to the more than 250 people gathered at the State of the City Address and Mayor’s Breakfast on February 13. The Alpharetta Business Association (ABA) hosted the ninth annual event which was held at The Hotel Avalon.
ABA President Darren Carter kicked off the meeting by welcoming attendees who included Alpharetta City Council members, local business leaders, mayors of neighboring cities, and elected officials from the City of Alpharetta, Fulton County, and the State of Georgia. He noted that the ABA has grown from a group of downtown Alpharetta merchants in 1994 to a thriving business organization whose reach extends to every corner of the City.
He also introduced Mayor Gilvin who then shared his vision for the City which included addressing the needs of Alpharetta’s daytime and nighttime populations, road and infrastructure projects, and parks/livability plans.
City Population More Than Doubles During Workdays
Gilvin explained that Alpharetta has an estimated 67,000 residents, making it the fifth largest in the state. It is also a regional employment center whose population almost doubles to 127,000 people during the workweek day as workers commute to the City. That makes Alpharetta the second largest city in daytime influx. Only Atlanta is larger with 296,000 people commuting to work there.
High Business Tax Revenue Keeps Residential Property Tax Lower
“We are an economic engine,” Gilvin said, explaining that Alpharetta’s high number of employers helps make it an economic gateway and corridor for surrounding areas. Alpharetta’s tax digest is $6.3 billion, and the City ranks first in the state in tax digest per capita at $98,547. The tax digest per capita is the total amount of residential and commercial property taxes collected, divided by resident population. High business tax revenue means the City can keep residential property tax lower than most cities its size.
Infrastructure Upgrades Happening Now and Planned for Future
Gilvin wants to serve the needs of residents and commuting workers. The City is currently spending $5 million to pave roads and $2.5 million to maintain the storm water system. Over the next eight years, $200 million is slated for road and infrastructure. Gilvin explained that these unprecedented projects are possible because of partnerships with surrounding communities, the Georgia state legislature, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, and the Fulton County School Board.
Enhancing Livability Includes Parks and North Point Corridor Redevelopment
In addition to addressing infrastructure needs, Gilvin explained the importance of enhancing livability in the City. The City “has to provide an environment where people want to come here from all of the world, not just to do business but to raise their families,” he said. He shared plans for a $10 million project to connect the Alpharetta Greenway to Forsyth County’s Greenway at the intersection of Union Hill and McGinnis Ferry Rd. Eventually, Alpharetta will have more than 20 miles of greenway. Redeveloping the North Point corridor of the City to make it more walkable and draw people in is also part of the City’s future plans.
Finally, he invited attendees to be informed about key matters in front of City Council and share their opinions with their elected officials, particularly about the City’s Homestead Exemption.