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Suwanee mayor outlines progress in state of the city

SUWANEE - Mayor Nick Masino outlined Suwanee's progress and goals for about 50 people Wednesday in the seventh annual state of the city address.

Police Department

achievements

Masino recognized several accomplishments by the Police Department and its officers.

Individually, Detective Shane Edmisten distinguished himself last fall when he helped the FBI capture a thief who used stolen construction equipment to steal ATM machines all over the metro area. Also, Chief Michael Jones was named the fourth vice president of the Georgia Police Chiefs.

The Suwanee Police Department was re-certified by the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs and was a finalist for the McClung Award for outstanding community policing.

Fiscal fitness

In 2003 and 2004, Suwanee was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association.

Among the city's fiscal achievements are an AA credit rating confirmed by Fitch ratings, the issuing of the first finance report complying with GASB-34, the paying off of their Urban Redevelopment Authority loan eight years early and a 99 percent collection rate on property taxes.

Past and future

Grab a copy of the new BellSouth Yellow Pages because Suwanee's Town Center Park is featured on the cover. More than 670,000 copies will circulate throughout Gwinnett County.

Suwanee recently earned three awards for their parks, master plan and open space initiative. For Town Center Park, the city earned the Trendsetter Award for economic and community development from the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend magazine. The Best Plan Implementation award for the Town Center Master Plan from the Georgia Planning Association went to Suwanee, and the Atlanta Regional Commission gave Suwanee the Create Community award for their open space program.

Suwanee has made a large commitment to the Old Town area. The Downtown Development Authority purchased Pierce's Corner, a historical building on Main Street, has pledged to match every dollar raised (up to $10,000), to preserve the Jackson Street Cemetery, upgraded PlayTown Suwanee, installed a new water tank and plans to hire an part-time downtown manager.

A master plan to protect Sims Lake Park should be completed by the end of the year. However, Masino said Suwanee's biggest upcoming challenge lies on the I-85 corridor along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. Several undeveloped parcels of land stand empty, traffic remains snarled and traffic lights often don't work in unison. The corridor itself needs to be beautified, he said, and made attractive to walkers with upgraded, safer sidewalks.