‘Stop Cop City’ Sen. Warnock interrupted during commencement address
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Saturday, Sen. Raphael Warnock was interrupted while giving a commencement address at Bard College’s graduation ceremony in New York.
After he was introduced, chants of ‘Stop Cop City’ echoed for roughly three minutes.
Critics of the planned public safety training center in DeKalb County have long called the project ‘Cop City,’
Many against the project have criticized Sen. Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff for not taking a stance against the project.
“Bard College you are living up to your reputation,” said Sen. Warnock, allowing the chants to briefly continue on Saturday. “What you’re witnessing is democracy in progress.”
In a resolution approved by the Finance Committee of the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta taxpayers would be responsible for $30 million towards the development of the project coming from the 2023 General Fund. In addition, the City would also pay $1 million for a gymnasium on site, using public safety impact fees.
Also in the resolution approved the by Finance Committee, the City would also cover the costs of the lease-back agreement with the Atlanta Police Foundation.
The lease-back agreement ensures that the City of Atlanta is the owner of the property, and the Foundation remains a financier.
LaChandra Burks, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, told Atlanta News First that the lease-back payment will be $1.2 million for the next 30 years.
After the 30-year period, the City will own the property outright.
Burks and other city officials shave stressed this lease-back payment is a neutralized cost as the City is currently paying $1.4 million for operational fees at current fire and police training facilities.
That $1.4 million annual payment will be eliminated once the City starts training personnel at the new training center.
“We are fortunate that those operational payments, like I mentioned, will be cost neutral because we’re paying $1.4 million roughly in lesser substandard facilities,” said Mohamed Balla, during the Finance Committee meeting on March 24.
“So from a budgetary perspective that is a neutral budget item for the City of Atlanta,” Balla continued.
The Council will vote on this funding on Monday, June 5 at a 1 p.m. full council meeting.
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