Suwanee mayor: 'Look for exciting things here'

Dave Williams

Dave Williams

SUWANEE — Mayor Dave Williams delivered the annual State of the City address during the February city council meeting. In it, Williams listed several accomplishments that happened in 2010.

The city acquired 12 acres along Smithtown Road and 15 acres along the railroad line in Suwanee Station. The former BP gas station in the Suwanee Gateway was also acquired to house a police department substation and training center. Construction on the substation will begin in November.

Also in 2010, the police department earned CALEA certification, a public safety communications accreditation designation.

Suwanee was named “Green Government of the Year” by Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, and city residents enjoyed such events as camp outs, concerts, farmers markets and Suwanee Day. Williams also took the opportunity to applaud the city’s green space program. In 2001, residents voted to take on $17.7 million in bonds to fund the expansion of green space, parks and trails. Following that vote, Suwanee’s green space has grown from 20 acres to more than 30 acres.

Also last year, the city participated in the National Citizen Survey. Complete findings will be communicated next month, but Williams said that Suwanee ranks in the 95th percentile for value of city services for taxes paid. In 2008, the city ranked in the 76th percentile. “We take every opportunity we can to measure ourselves,” said Williams, who credited that policy with the city’s success.

“Suwanee has become a model of how to do things well,” Williams said. “Not perfect, but well.”

In 2011, residents can look forward to beginning construction on the police substation in the Gateway. “Suwanee can’t be successful if the Gateway isn’t successful. Look for exciting things there,” Williams said.

North Gwinnett program lauded

Several North Gwinnett High School students and their instructors were recognized Tuesday evening, with Williams giving a nod to the school’s innovate “studio” program. In the program, students develop and implement their own projects. They learn real world skills and prepare for college and life beyond school.

City awarded Tree City USA award

For the 21st year in a row, Suwanee was named a Tree City by Keep Georgia Beautiful. In order to earn this distinction, a city must have a tree ordinance, celebrate Arbor Day, have a forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and have a Tree Board or Commission.

Suwanee’s tree inventory lists about 4,000 public trees.