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Duluth selects firm for redevelopment plan

DULUTH - Duluth has hired a consulting firm to assist city planning staff with drafting a redevelopment plan for Buford Highway.

A contract in the amount of $100,000 was awarded to Kimley-Horn and Associates by the City Council on Monday.

"The plan will primarily focus on the Buford Highway corridor" from Pleasant Hill to Old Peachtree roads, said Cliff Cross, the city's planning director.

It will recommend desirable components and standards for redevelopment of the corridor and potential tax allocation district boundaries. TADs and other financial incentive programs will help the city encourage redevelopment and revitalization of the corridor.

In other action, the council:

· Awarded the contract for construction of Taylor Park Playground adjacent to the Town Green to Ed Castro Landscape in the amount of $261,500. The park has a train theme that reflects the city's history.

· Postponed again a decision on annexation and rezoning of 1.2 acres at 2933 Pleasant Hill Road to general business to allow the applicant more time to clean up the property to meet city codes.

The council had tabled action on the property following a public hearing in March. Applicant Lian Cong Zhang has requested the rezoning to allow operation of retail sales businesses on the site and facilitate future development. The council will reconsider his request at its April 27 meeting.

· Approved a new tagline for Duluth submitted by GoGo Creative, a firm hired to do a branding campaign for the city, and authorized GoGo to produce a logo for the city. The tagline currently used is "Pride in the Old & New." The new tag line was not announced because the city wants to unveil it in conjunction with the logo.

· Authorized entering into an agreement for the Button Theatre to manage the Red Clay Theatre and Arts Center through Aug. 30. Shelly Howard, former Red Clay Theatre managing partner, donated the URL for the theater Web site to the city.

· Updated wording in the ordinance and increased fees for alcoholic licenses in the city.

· Changed the polling place for Duluth municipal elections from the old city hall to the new City Hall.

· Appointed Rob Osterloh to the Downtown Development Authority to replace Mark Gary. Osterloh's term will expire in 2012.