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Alpharetta Postpones Hearing on $10 Million Bond Issue for Amana Academy

The city had scheduled a hearing at 6 p.m. today, Dec. 3, on the public charter school's plans, but cancelled today's hearing to ensure the public has more notification about it.

The Amana Academy $10 million bond issue hearing originally scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. today, Dec. 3 has been postponed, the city of Alpharetta announced this afternoon.

"This action is being taken by the City of Alpharetta to ensure enhanced notification to the public as to the time and place at which the hearing will occur.  A revised hearing schedule has not been determined at this time," said the notice issued by Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard.

The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 requires a public hearing as a pre-condition for the exclusion from gross income for federal income tax purposes of interest on all qualified private activity bonds, according to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. TEFRA requires, among other things, that the issue be approved either by an elected official or body of elected officials of the applicable governmental entity after a public hearing (a “TEFRA hearing”) following reasonable public notice, or by voter referendum.

The project being financed is located at 285 South Main St., Alpharetta. The project will be owned by the Borrower and will be operated by the Borrower as a K-8 charter school within the Fulton County Georgia school system. The facilities being financed are located within the corporate limits of Alpharetta.

Amana Academy plans to buy the shopping center building in which its school already is located, and expand beyond the old grocery store site that has housed the public charter school and King's Ridge Christian School before it built its own school.

The city announced at a recent meeting that it would have to move its Community Development Department from within the center on South Main Street because it received notice of Amana Academy's plans.

Amana Academy's attempt to get a property on Marconi Drive rezoned for use as a school was rejected by the city after stiff community opposition.

Elizabeth Hooper was one of several local residents who contacted the city about the hearing. She sent a letter asking the city expressing concern about the ity Council making any endorsement of the school, and complained about the short notice of the hearing.

"I am writing to express my concern over any endorsement from City Council regarding the long term viability of Amana Academy or the city's representation of community support for this charter school. I am also concerned about the very short notice given regarding the TEFRA hearing on December 3rd," Hooper wrote in her letter.

"If we have learned any lesson about start-up charter schools over the past year, it is that a school board's or the state's willingness to renew charter petition's are never guaranteed," she said.

Louise Weldon December 07, 2012 at 09:54 AM
The city council knows that issuance of bonds to investors is time sensitive. By siding with the anti-charter school crusaders AGAIN and delaying the hearing indefinitely, the city council is sending a clear message, “We don’t want charter schools in Alpharetta.” Louise Weldon
Louise weldon December 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Louise Weldon When is the date of the the city council meeting that will have the hearing regarding the bond issue for Amana?
Kay December 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I have no clue. I do not it has been scheduled as of yet.
Alpharetta residents January 09, 2013 at 02:06 AM
Amana academy needs to be shut down. Il be sure to be at this meeting. The administration staff treat there employees horrible and these parents don't have a clue on what's going on in the inside. Sorry for the kids involved
Dom April 20, 2013 at 03:21 PM
I totally agree, horrible experience at that school. Worst decision we made

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