Sugar Hill considers looks for its 'lynchpin' building

SUGAR HILL -- At its monthly work session Monday night, the Sugar Hill City Council mulled over the 10 most popular facades being considered for the city's $8 million turn-of-the-century-style hall.

The 30,000-square-foot, three-story building on the corner of West Broad and Temple streets is expected to be the crowning jewel of the city's 3/4-mile downtown between Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Ga. Highway 20.

Though construction isn't expected to begin until the middle of 2010, the city is seeking proposals from architects through Dec. 29.

The council favors designs that include a center tower, columns, darker brick and a copper-involved roof. The building also is expected to be partially solar powered, as well as have geo-thermal design and a natural gas back-up.

"We're finally at the point where architects are going to take over and show us their vision of what they think it should look like," Community Relations Director Don Kelemen said. "This will be the lynchpin of our new downtown."

The council also:

* Held its second of three required public hearings on next year's $28 million proposed budget, which included the first $7 million for construction of city hall and downtown development of West Broad Street, as well as roughly $3 million for completion of the new 67-acre Gary Pirkle Park and expansion to 57 acres of old E.E. Robinson Park. The city hopes to stay its ambitious course of development despite Hail's anticipated 10 percent drop in tax revenue and a shrinking tax digest for a third consecutive year.

No public comment was offered Monday, and the final opportunity for comment will be at Monday's 7:30 p.m. public meeting.

* Applied to next week's consent agenda the reconfirmation of Rosemary Walsh and Jeanne Ferguson to the city's planning commission. Both commissioners' terms are set to expire at the end of the year.

* Applied to next week's consent agenda a 14-page technology policy, governing city employees' use of computers and electronic correspondence. The policy mimics that of Duluth and other cities.