News Briefs: Condo tower proposed in O4W; MARTA takes over Streetcar; city transparency

An online petition has been launched to block a 21-story condo tower in the Old Fourth Ward that would rise near Historic Fourth Ward Park. Live Oak Realty wants to build the tower, which would have 17 condos starting at $1 million, on a small lot in the 600 block of Angier Avenue, according to a report from Curbed Atlanta.

MARTA officially took over operations of the Atlanta Streetcar on July 1. MARTA’s Office of Light Rail Operations will handle daily operations, maintenance, and technical inspections of the streetcar. Other support services will be provided by staff within current MARTA departments. The fare is still $1 to ride, and tickets are available at Breeze vending machines at streetcar stops, on the Streetcar mobile app or using exact change when boarding.  MARTA Police Officers will be on board every train to ensure the safety and security of the system.

The Atlanta City Council has approved legislation requiring the city attorney to prepare and present a quarterly report to the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee concerning the general operations of the city’s law department, its use of any outside counsel services, and the filing of/results of any recovery efforts on behalf of the city. The legislation requires City Council authorization when the service fee of said outside counsel exceeds $50,000 within a fiscal year. “I was pleased to work with my colleagues on Council, as well as the Law Department, on this important legislation,” said Councilmember Dustin Hillis, the sponsor of the bill. “It will bring more transparency, oversight and accountability to the retention of outside counsel.” The legislation also requires that the city attorney seek and receive authorization from the Atlanta City Council prior to filing affirmative litigation in the name of the city as the plaintiff.

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