Property annexation on the horizon for Berkeley Lake

BERKELEY LAKE - A public hearing and first read of an ordinance to annex 7.54 acres into the city limits took place at Thursday night's council meeting.

The issue of rezoning the property, which will be annexed into Berkeley Lake from Gwinnett County, was also on Thursday night's agenda. The land is located at 4709 - 4729 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, and the zoning is to be designated for office use. No residents spoke in opposition to the action.

Councilman wants meeting minutes recorded verbatim

Councilman Bernie Cohen expressed concerns about how the City Council meeting minutes are recorded.

City Clerk Jackie Wall and Mayor Lois Salter said that the cost and time required to do so would be prohibitive as both special training and additional time would be required. Salter provided examples of other Gwinnett cities' minutes that are recorded in less detail than Berkeley Lake's.

Cohen said Berkeley Lake operates differently than most other cities in Gwinnett, since all the business and action on behalf of the city is actually done by council members at council meetings.

"We're different because we don't have a staff to hand things off to. We do everything ourselves," said Cohen, who then motioned that the question be tabled until next year's budget can be reviewed. Gwinnett County's meeting minutes are recorded verbatim, and a court recorder performs that task, Salter said.

Mayor submits proposed 2006 budget

In accordance with city guidelines, Salter presented her proposed 2006 budget for the council's review in Thursday night's meeting. The city's ordinance requires that the mayor submit the next year's budget by Nov. 1 each year. Council members will review the proposed budget between now and the next scheduled council meeting.

In other business:

•Citizens can review Salter's budget online at the city's Web site.

•A Berkeley Lake town hall meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 18.

•The new city Web site is up and running.

•Ten citizen volunteers are required for a Dec. 10 workday in the city's greenspace. Work will be done on the trails to prevent and repair erosion.

•A candidates' forum will be held at Berkeley Lake Elementary School at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The deadline for citizens to submit questions for the candidates to discuss is midnight Sunday. There are three City Council seats coming up for election in November - those currently occupied by Delicia Reynolds, Debbie Guthrie and Marcie Zielazienski.