Berkeley Lake leaders prioritizing 2009 SPLOST uses

BERKELEY LAKE - Mayor Lois Salter asked city council members Thursday for their input regarding possible uses for future special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) funds. Gwinnett cities are required to make their priorities known to county officials in about a month. County and city residents will vote in November to decide whether the additional tax will be renewed for another year.

Salter said that with the recent economic downturn the city of Berkeley Lake will not be able to pay for the new city hall building. "We need to somehow pay for what we've already committed to," said Salter of the project, which is well under way and Salter's suggestion for the city's top priority.

Public safety - specifically, purchasing the city's own police cars and pursuing sources of law enforcement officers other than Gwinnett County cops - is Salter's suggestion for a second priority.

Council women Debbie Guthrie and Rebecca Spitler also named city infrastructure as a pressing need. The mayor and council will continue to discuss the issues via e-mail and again in a probable work session before the June city council meeting to finalize the city's list of 2009 SPLOST funding priorities.

SPLOST funds are reserved for capital projects such as public parks, libraries, fire stations, police precincts and transportation solutions.

New city hall project progressing as planned

Barbara Carroll, chair of the Architectural Design Committee, reported Thursday that Wakefield, Beasley and Associates is working on the city hall building design. The project will move soon to the Request for Quote stage, during which all further work will stop. This stage will enable project leaders to ascertain that the project is still within budget.

A construction manager should be on board with the project in 2 to 4 months, Carroll said.