Morrow City Council to explore proposed Tourism Center changes Tuesday

City Manager Sylvia Redic listens to a presentation during a Morrow City Council work session.

MORROW—Here are some items of note on the agenda for Tuesday's Morrow City Council work session and meeting:

• The city's 90-day contract with Angel Face Management, which is handling the Morrow Center, ends on July 23;

• The contractor for the Jesters Creek Trail Plan Phase III says it has change orders totaling $69,595, which raise the total project price to $281,082;

• Judge Pro Tem Ethan Pham's contract expired June 24;

• The city will discuss plans to partner with Clayton State University on a business center.

Vice President for Advancement Chase Moore told the News that Clayton State University "is engaging in an exploratory conversation with the city to allocate a portion of the Morrow Welcome Center for our Launchpad Initiative. Within the last year, the program, which is housed within the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, has offered our computer science and information technology majors an opportunity to learn more about careers within the digital economy and gain greater knowledge and skills in areas such as database management and cybersecurity."

Moore added, "We hope that this collaboration will allow the University to create a space for our students to engage in technology-driven projects, as well as serve as a conduit to engage Clayton County Public Schools middle and high school students in activities such as coding camps and hackathons."

There is no proposed MOU "or other formal agreement at this time with the city of Morrow," Moore said.

Redic said that tonight's discussion of the Clayton State Business Welcome Center is just "to take the mayor's and council's temperature about the partnership, which may lead to some student functions inside the center." Redic said the plan is "all in the concepts phase–it’s only been discussions, no drawings or anything on paper."

Separately, Redic said that Angel Face Management is the one councilmembers recently discussed giving a 90-day test run on the Morrow Welcome Center, which is in Southlake Mall. "They have completely renovated how we conduct business—fees, payment methods, expectations of market value, best practices in event facilities, contracts and what information they capture," Redic told the News. "We won’t see the true value until the changes have been in place for a few months, but I expect we will see very positive results."

Redic said one idea is to make the Welcome Center more of a "plug in and unplug" space with "a coffee house vibe, where people gather, enjoy free wifi, study, work, socialize....so people will actually use it." Possible amenities include a mini art gallery, student work space, coffee service, car charging station, portable device charging and a dog run for both locals and tourists.

On the regular meeting agenda are items about regulating cell phone towers, the proposed "brunch bill" referendum, and the 2020 budget.

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