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ATLANTA-For the fourth time this month, Fulton County commissioners have delayed making a decision on committing more than $500 million of taxpayer funds to the estimated $2.5-billion mixed-use Beltline redevelopment that would be the costliest in the city’s history.

Brokers and developers’ representatives attending the county’s public meeting tell GlobeSt.com the commissioners may try again to vote on the project Dec. 21. The city is anxious to have Fulton County join the Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta Board of Education as partners in the project but acknowledge Fulton legally has until June 30, 2006 to make a decision.

The school board has committed an estimated $850 million in future property taxes over the next 25 years it will take to complete the Beltline. The undertaking consists of homes, offices, shops, entertainment, hiking trails, recreation areas, new transit routes and public parks, board officials confirm for GlobeSt.com.

The Atlanta City Council has approved a special tax district to help pay for the project by committing taxes collected on future developments, as GlobeSt.com reported Nov. 9. The city plans to sell $111 million in bonds, revenue that would be used to buy prime land sites before speculators acquire them, city staffers tell GlobeSt.com.

Before bond sales can begin, however, Mayor Shirley Franklin and the council have publicly stated they need Fulton County’s financial commitment to the project.

Area marketers who have been following the progress of the project tell GlobeSt.com critics of the project are raising concerns over the speculated $32 million in professional fees that would be paid to lawyers, engineers and other consultants in managing the Beltline’s construction.

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