Suwanee City Council adopts 2012 budget

SUWANEE -- City leaders Tuesday adopted an $11.8 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. Council members also adopted a $24.9 million capital improvements budget for years 2012 through 2016.

"We're pleased to be able to hold the line on operational expenses and to reduce slightly the burden on taxpayers during this sustained economic downturn," said City Manager Marty Allen. Allen was referring to the .5 mills decrease in Suwanee's millage rate reflected in the new budget.

The capital improvements budget provides for planned improvements to facilities, transportation, recreation and water management, as well as equipment and vehicle purchases.

North Gwinnett Middle donates benches

The 600 eighth-grade students at North Gwinnett Middle School donated three tiled park benches to PlayTown Suwanee, the city's 10,000-acre playground. The donation served as one of two class service projects highlighted during eighth-grade week at the 2-year-old school.

NGMS principal Wanda Law thanked Mayor Pro Tem Jace Brooks (who presided over Tuesday's city council meeting) and the city of Suwanee for helping her teachers include community in the students' education.

Harvest Farm board thanks city leaders

To mark the second anniversary of Suwanee's very popular Harvest Farm Community Garden, Managing Board Chair Chantez Daya presented a painting to Brooks and the city council. Artist Carol van Dyck painted the picture, which was framed and marked for the occasion.

"It's the 'community' part of 'community garden' that makes this so special," Brooks said, admitting that, at first, he didn't understand the importance of such a project.