Sugar Hill names T-ball field to honor former city manager's son

SUGAR HILL — Though unfinished with its 18-acre expansion of E.E. Robinson Park, Sugar Hill put a finishing touch on one of the park’s T-ball fields recently completed along Level Creek Road.

In a proclamation read at the city’s monthly City Council meeting Monday night, Sugar Hill named the middle of three fields Stephen H. Ginn Field to honor the late son of state senator and former Sugar Hill City Manager Frank Ginn.

An estimated 50 people nearly filled the city’s small downtown annex to see Frank Ginn and hear the proclamation for his son, who was killed last year while riding farm equipment.

Ginn, credited with helping restore Sugar Hill’s solvency and developing its natural gas system during the late 1990s, addressed the council after the proclamation was read, his voice cracking with emotion at one point.

“We’ve all lived through tumultuous times,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to learn how to love life and how to live life.”

Reciprocally, Ginn presented Mayor Gary Pirkle with a picture of his son, who played youth baseball for the Angels.

“We all know there are angels in the outfield,” he said. “I’d like to commend you all for what you’ve done to right the ship of Sugar Hill. There’s no decision they make that’s easy,” Ginn told the gallery about council members.

Separately, the council:

• Approved changes to the city’s alcohol beverage code to allow sale of alcohol with special-event permits. Developed because North Gwinnett High requested a permit to dispense alcohol at a fund-raising casino night at a health club, Sugar Hill’s permit language comprised ideas from Duluth, Grayson, Snellville and Lawrenceville.

• Approved a developer’s request to rezone approximately 13 acres along Ga. Highway 20 at the Chattahoochee River near the Forsyth County line from office institutional to single-family residential for creation of 22 lots in a 50-acre subdivision. A representative of the developer has estimated needing 18 months to build the single-family residences, but was uncertain when building would begin.

• Approved an ordinance prohibiting drive-through alcohol sales, though an applicant who last month sought a permit to do so had since withdrawn that request.