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Mayor advises residents of stormwater duties

DACULA - Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks addresses residents twice every year concerning their responsibility to keep water clean and manage runoff from their properties. The mayor did so again Thursday during a city council meeting, and in the heat of summer and the middle of a drought, admonished residents to be diligent in the small things.

"Most of Gwinnett's streams are polluted with waste, pesticides and fertilizers," Wilbanks said. "Homeowners have a responsibility to clean up pet waste, keep stormwater drains free of lawn clippings, used oil and chemical runoff from lawns."

The city of Dacula does not charge residents a stormwater utility fee, as many other Gwinnett cities and the county do. Any infrastructure repairs to the system are paid for out of the city's general fund.

"There may come a day when we do have to start charging a fee, considering the stricter (Federal) regulations, but for now, we don't," city administrator Jim Osborn said.

Transportation improvements to begin on Second Avenue

Following about a three-year delay, transportation enhancements will soon begin on Second Avenue in Dacula. "This has been a long time coming," said Wilbanks. "The city has had the grant money for the improvements for three years, but the process will now go ahead when the city advertises to project to solicit bids from contractors."

Sidewalk improvement on Broad Street to get under way

Dacula will advertise for sidewalk improvement construction bids on the east side of Broad Street. If the cost is not prohibitive, a sidewalk also will be installed on the west side of the street, following a request for the additional cost by councilman Gregory Reeves.

"I had hoped all of the work on Broad Street would be finished by the first day of school, but it doesn't look like we'll make that deadline," Wilbanks said.

The sidewalk on the east side of the street, which is where Dacula High School is located, is broken and uneven. Councilman Tim Montgomery suggested that tree roots have caused some of the damage and requested that Osborn seek the services of an arborist to advise the best course of action to prevent further damage while preserving aging trees.