In 2006 the Georgia General Assembly created the City of Sandy Springs Public Facilities Authority (“Authority”). The purpose of this Authority is to create a governmental entity by which a municipality can, through contractual relationships, lease space for terms over one year, by using the Authority to serve as a financing and ownership partner for major city developments, such as “City Springs”.
Although the City is limited by the Georgia Constitution in its ability to contractually commit to the expenditure of public funds beyond one year, the state constitution does grant the City the right to enter into contractual obligations with other governmental bodies for the performance of governmental services. Through such contracts the City can make enforceable financial commitments for up to forty (40) years.
Thus, the Authority serves as a partner with the City, whereby the City can agree to pay rent to the Authority for the use of public facilities i.e. City Hall building, City Springs Park, parking garage and a performing arts center. The Authority is then able to use the contractual pledge of the future rent payments to raise capital, through the issuance of bonds, which capital is then used for the acquisition, design and construction of public facilities. This arrangement also keeps the ownership of these facilities within public entities.
The Sandy Springs City Council Members serve as members of the Public Facilities Authority.