Lawrenceville votes to lower millage rate

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- City of Lawrenceville residents will be receiving a 9 percent decrease in their property tax bills for 2011 following a vote Monday night by the City Council.

"It's certainly good news for the change in the tax digest," Councilman Tony Powell said."It's a good decrease."

The millage rate was lowered to 2.16 mills because of devaluation in property values.

However, Powell said he thought it was curious to set the millage rate before passing an annual budget, so the board also approved a stipulation that Mayor Judy Johnson contact the Gwinnett County tax commissioner to see if the millage rate announcement to the county could be delayed so the rate can be examined again in a work session July 20.

The $207,000 that was rolled back "is not a significant portion of the city budget," City Clerk Robert P. Baroni said.

City resident Bob Clark said there should be a budget calendar involving the millage rate, budget and employee salaries.

"It just doesn't make sense to keep those things separate," he said.

The council also approved the city's new taxi cab ordinance, which includes an insurance requirement of $300,000 of minimum coverage, and a change in the definition of ownership.

"It's a significant improvement to the insurance side of it," Powell said.

In other business, the council:

* Decided to rebid the Western Heights Gas Project. Approval of a low bid of $94,242 to Steel and Associates was rejected by a 3-2 vote.

* Agreed to bid out the Ezzard Road Drainage Project near Paper Mill Road. It's estimated the project will cost about $250,000.

* Approved a change order for an additional $26,674 for the Winer Industrial Way Drainage Project. Rock formations necessitated a change of design.

* Decided to surplus two propane gas tanks.

* Approved job descriptions for new accounting positions previously accepted.

* Approved condemning property at Perry and Lucky streets (the Heritage Trail Project) unless a financial agreement can be reached with the property owner.

* Affirmed the low bid of $67,500 from Contour Grading & Pipe for the U.S. Highway 29 crossing and raw water line installation.

* Approved the contract with the U.S. Geological Service of $81,840 with a city match of $117,660.

* Approved the position of code enforcement officer for $92,022 for fund the position.

* Recognized the Lawrenceville Youth Association Baseball Major League All-Star Team (11- and 12-year-olds) in advance of their playing in the state tournament on Friday night in Troup County.