Atlanta council agrees to money for public safety training center

(The Center Square) — The Atlanta City Council voted to allocate $30 million in uncommitted funds for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which has sparked violent protests.

The council also authorized using up to $1 million in public safety impact fees to fund a gymnasium facility on the site.

“Our busy, international city requires well-trained public safety responders to serve our communities, businesses, and visitors,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “At the same time, the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center will allow us to recruit, retain and prepare our fire-rescue, police, and emergency medical personnel to better serve the diverse, vibrant, and unique neighborhoods that comprise our city.”

LABOR DEPARTMENT: The Georgia Department of Labor has suspended its Employer-Filed (Partial) Claims System.

“Mitigating fraudulent claims is a huge factor in delivering on these goals, and [this] announcement will allow this agency to continue our focus on the people of Georgia who are in need,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson said in an announcement.

A spokeswoman for the agency did not provide additional details.

“With the steady increase of fraud nationwide, this is simply a proactive measure to safeguard our systems against future fraud,” she said.

In December, federal authorities charged eight people on allegations they conspired to defraud Georgia out of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits.

MARTA: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Board of Directors adopted fiscal 2024 Operating and Capital Budgets, and officials noted it marks the 12th straight year the agency hasn’t increased its fares.

The $1.6 billion budget includes $712.4 million in gross operating funds and $854.5 million for capital programming. Officials said the budget supports resuming pre-pandemic bus and rail service levels and moves capital projects forward, including constructing the region’s first bus rapid transit line.

According to a news release, the budget includes $50 million for the agency’s Station Rehabilitation Program and nearly $60 million for procuring new railcars.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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