Norcross employees present 2010 budget

NORCROSS -- City Manager Rudolph Smith and General Government Administration Director Karen Slaton-Dixon presented a proposed 2010 budget to the Norcross mayor and council during a public hearing Monday night. Smith said the budget is a whopping 27 percent less than the 2009 budget, thanks to the hard work and conscientious efforts of the department heads who submitted their individual needs for the upcoming fiscal year.

The whittling of expenses was done without furloughs and without cutting services, although positions vacated by retirees are not slated to be filled. Cross-training among departments helped prop up the vacancies left by employees who retired or are retiring in the coming year.

"The budget is very transparent" and viewable on the city's Web site, according to Smith.

Special-use permit approved for church

City leaders Monday granted a special-use permit to a church located at 5658 Buford Highway, Suite E. The address is in a C-2 (commercial) district and therefore requires a special-use permit for a church to be located there.

City Planner Deborah Ezra recommended an additional stipulation before the permit was granted. The name of the church is Case de Oracion Voz que Clama en el Vesierto, and Ezra said that the English translation of the name of the church must be on file in the city's permit office.

The church has a membership of about 25 people.

Parking ordinance approved

City Council members adopted a parking ordinance for the downtown area of Norcross on Monday in an attempt to alleviate a long-standing parking problem that is made even worse during the holiday season.

The ordinance allows business owners and their employees to obtain permits to park on property owned or leased by the city. By doing so, merchants will leave open critical parking spaces for downtown shoppers and other patrons.

While the choice of using city-owned parking is left to the discretion of the business owners, council members agreed that the practice would only benefit downtown business owners.

The city of Norcross commissioned a parking study recently, the results of which should be available in January or February. Some citizens and councilman David McLeroy questioned whether it was wise to pass an ordinance before the study results are in.

Councilman Ross Kaul said Walter P. Moore, who is conducting the traffic study, helped design the ordinance that was adopted Monday.