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Dacula approves 2010 budget

DACULA -- City leaders Thursday voted to adopt the proposed 2010 budget, following the most recent (Nov. 23) public hearing on the matter.

Councilman Greg Reeves asked City Administrator Jim Osborn whether Dacula's contribution to "Partnership Gwinnett" -- $4,500 -- was included in the new budget.

According to Osborn and City Clerk Kay Partain, the money has been budgeted for the third year in a row. Dacula citizens contributed $4500 per year in both 2008 and 2009 toward the business-focused Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce "Partnership Gwinnett" initiative.

Reeves said Dacula has not benefitted at all from the $9,000 spent so far. With city employees not receiving a cost-of-living raise next year for the first time ever, Reeves said that he could not justify spending another $4,500 on what seems to be a fruitless effort.

Councilman Tim Montgomery suggested that, rather than removing the $4,500 expense from next year's budget, council members try to convince people at the Gwinnett Chamber that Dacula needs sewer service for new businesses to consider moving to the area. Without the necessary infrastructure, Dacula cannot hope to attract businesses and therefore will not benefit from participating in Partnership Gwinnett.

Council members voted unanimously to adopt the budget with the understanding that they must vote to approve or deny the $4,500 expense when the bill is issued from the Gwinnett Chamber.

City employees to receive different compensation

Council members voted Thursday to make Veterans Day a paid holiday for city employees beginning in 2010. The initial intent was to approve the paid holiday for next year, but Reeves moved to make it a permanent paid holiday for Dacula employees. The holiday was included in an attempt to make up for the loss of an empoyee cost-of-living raise next year.

Sanjo Street to get two new street lights

Georgia Power will install two much-needed streetlights along Sanjo Street between McMillan Road and Harbins Road. According to Osborn, there is a dangerously dark stretch of Sanjo Street which happens to have two light poles already installed. Georgia Power will install the lights at no charge, and the city will pay another $15 a month for the electricity.

Several other areas in the city have been identified as needing street lights. City council members will consider adding lights to those areas at the January 2010 council meeting,

Currently, the city pays about $3,500 per month for street light electricity.