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Doraville Residents Angry Over Stimulus-funded Sidewalk

DORAVILLE, GA -- In Doraville, this is what the federal stimulus looks like:  Wet cement, poured to build a sidewalk along Central Avenue near the Doraville MARTA station.  It's a project paid for with 160,000 federal dollars.

And to Tom Hart, a former Doraville city council member, the project is a civic punch line.

"What is the point of putting a sidewalk in, if the entire sidewalk is lined with a telephone pole right in the center?" Hart asks, gesturing at telephone poles that poke out of the middle of the gleaming new sidewalk.

"I mean, it's not (Americans with Disabilities Act) compatible. It's hardly pedestrian compatible.  Like if two people -- if you and I were walking down here side by side, you'd have to wait for one person to get past the pole, then the other person to get past the pole," said Hart.

 

DeKalb Commission to Vote on Controversial GM Plant Deal

DEKALB COUNTY, GA - It's one of the largest ghost towns in metro Atlanta, 165 acres that turned out 60 years worth of General Motors cars.

When the GM plant closed 2 years ago, the City of Doraville lost about 8% of its income and many local businesses lost a chunk of theirs.

After 20 years, Wesley Horgon saw his car repair and detailing business drop off 20%

"General Motors was a great help to the whole City of Doraville," Horgon says, "When General Motors went out, we lost a lot of revenue here."

Last January Wesley Horgon and many of Doraville's 10,000 residents were encouraged to hear that a Florida developer wanted to buy the old GM plant property and create a new downtown with mixed retail, living and office space.

One reason is its convenient location just off I-285 on Atlanta's north side and right next to a MARTA rail and bus station.