Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Stop Work orders issued for Soapbox Derby Track
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By April Hunt
The DeKalb County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to halt construction of a soapbox derby track favored by CEO Burrell Ellis, a project the commission insists it never approved. Ellis' reply: not so fast.
“This is as clear as this board can be: stop what you're doing,” Commissioner Elaine Boyer said of the 6-0 vote (with one absentee) demanding the county halt any work being done at the site on Rock Chapel Road near Lithonia.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation revealed last week that county taxpayers have paid $91,819 thus far on clear-cutting trees and other work on the track that Ellis authorized without commission consent.
Despite growing controversy over the project,estimated to cost $1 million, Ellis said he was blindsided by the resolution and was unclear on his next step, other than asking county attorneys if the board had the power to stop construction. He stopped short of saying he would immediately halt work in the meantime, saying that the board’s 2011 vote to add the derby track to a potential projects to be completed with parks bond money was tacit approval of the track.
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