Greek Row Buses

By Paul Wagner

City officials are considering the creation of a special tax district in Greek Row to pay for streets which, if not repaired, might result in the banning of buses north of Hillcrest Drive.

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow said he will meet with both property holders who would pay the increased property taxes in a special district and students who would pay indirectly through higher rents to determine if residents would consider a special taxing district.

About $1.2 million would be needed to resurface north Greek Row streets to accommodate buses. Sparrow said a 10-year bond might be purchased at an interest rate of seven percent and payments of $170,000 per year for ten years.

Sparrow said the city would pay a percentage of the bond payments and residents of the taxing district would pay the rest. The percentage the city would pay has not been determined, he said.

A special taxing district was defeated by the council in November, but Sparrow said the idea seems to be gaining support of the council.

Todd Lipscomb, chairman of the Student Association Mass Transit Board, said at Monday’s board meeting he would support a taxing district only as a last resort. “I’ll support what Greek Row (residents) supports,” he said. Board members have been talking to Greek Row residents to see if they support a taxing district, he said.

The busing issue will be discussed at Monday’s meeting. The board approved a special bus to transport students from Holmes Student Center to the city council meeting Monday. The bus will leave the student center at 7:30 and run through Greek Row before going to the council chambers.

Busing graduate assistant Dave Agazzi said the possible elimination of buses north of Hillcrest affects all Greek Row students. He said about 2,000 students live north of Hillcrest, and 100 to 1,000 students might be waiting for buses at Hillcrest stops.

Lipscomb said he will send letters to fraternities and sororities before Monday’s meeting to encourage student attendance.