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Suwanee adopts 2011 budget

SUWANEE -- City officials Tuesday adopted an $11,223,380 balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The newly adopted budget is about 6 percent less than the amended 2010 budget; the city anticipates maintaining the 5.77 millage rate for the upcoming year.

Officials also voted to approve a 5-year capital improvements project plan.

"With the economy still shaky and property values declining, the city of Suwanee, like many other communities, was forced to make some difficult decisions and budgetary concessions," City Manager Marty Allen said.

The city of Suwanee remains fiscally sound and economically stable, having earned a AA bond rating by Fitch Inc., in 2009 and 2010.

During Tuesday's public hearing, some residents cautioned city leaders to spend cautiously while the economy is still ailing.

Resident Brad Alexander expressed concern regarding planned capital improvements.

One project in particular Alexander questioned was the need for a parking deck in Town Center.

Maurice Cook, another Suwanee resident, said Tuesday that he would like to see more town hall meetings and transparency during the budget preparation process.

Highlights of the 2011 budget include a 2.5 percent performance-based, cost-of-living increase for city employees, phase I of a two-phase community-wide strategic plan, new laptops for the police department, legal fees attributable to the service delivery strategy dispute with Gwinnett County and increased landscaping along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, McGinnis Ferry Road and around Interstate 85.

Suwanee has a $6.9 million general fund balance, an approximate 7-month reserve.

Collins Hill High School boys soccer team recognized

Mayor Dave Williams congratulated the Collins Hill High School Boys' soccer team Tuesday evening, presenting head coach Drew Prentiss with a proclamation declaring June 23 as the team's day in Suwanee.

For the second consecutive year, the accomplished boys' team won the 5-A Georgia State Championship, closing a 20-2 season. The team scored 63 goals this season and allowed only 20 to be scored against them, logging 8 shutouts during the season.

Twelve seniors played on this championship team, and Prentiss expressed his confidence in the school's rising players.