FOREST PARK — Forest Park has hired an economic development director and is set to swear him in and create a departmental budget of more than a quarter million dollars at a special called meeting Monday night.
According to an amended agenda for the meeting posted on the city's website, the city plans to swear in Bruce Abraham as the city's new Economic Development director. It also will consider an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 budget to establish funding for the department, which "will be funded through reduction in the fund balance."
City Finance Director Ken Thompson confirmed Abraham's appointment to the News. Abraham has a background in economic development, having held similar positions in Dekalb and Lumpkin Counties, as well as experience in broadband and real estate deals and recruiting.
Abraham has his own broadband and economic development consulting business, Bruce Abraham Company. He also served for six years as CEO of North Georgia Network/Connect North Georgia, which received $33 million in Broadband Technologies Opportunity Grant funding between Dec. 2009 and Dec. 2012 to build a fiber optic network, according to a Witness Disclosure Report filed with the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee in 2013.
In addition, Abraham has done commercial development for Duke Energy and Mobil.
Also on the agenda is a resolution to approve projects on the 2020 SPLOST list. City officials did not respond when the News asked for a list of proposed projects.
Other items include a proposal to move city e-mails from IBM Notes to Microsoft Office 365, as well as consideration of a request to implement a warming station. Councilwoman Latresa Akins-Wells had asked that the city consider setting up a warming station for the city's homeless.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in council chambers, followed by a public reception.