Sugar Hill plans downtown pond

SUGAR HILL - Sugar Hill City Manager Bob Hail took advantage of Monday night's light city council meeting agenda to share more plans for renovation of downtown, a key feature of which is a detention-retention pond amid envisioned commercial development and a new 35,000-square-foot city hall in the quarter-mile stretch between Level Creek Road and Hillcrest Drive.

The roughly $1.7 million pond, like the $7.5 million turn-of-the-century-themed city hall and accompanying parking deck, will be funded by SPLOST money.

Built in an existing depression, Hail proposed the pond's steeper detention portion be widened to double as tiered amphitheater seating of concrete. His vision is for the pond to not only be an appealing water feature, but also allow the street's commercial property owners fuller use of their lots.

"(The pond) is a true economic stimulus for this street," Hail said. "We'll save people $50 to $80,000 by not having to have to build their own retention ponds. It'll allow businesses to utilize 80 percent or more of their land mass."

In other council announcements:

· It bought a home at 855 Level Creek Road, at foreclosure auction, the removal of which will further broaden the periphery of E.E. Robinson Park. The city paid $107,000 for the property.

· It passed by consent a measure allowing Hail and City Clerk Jane Whittington to accept legal service, in lieu of mayor Gary Pirkle.

· It announced the near complete installation of synthetic turf for multi-purpose athletics at Gary Pirkle Park. When finished, Hail said the 255,000 square feet of contiguous surface will be the largest in the Southeast.