Old City Hall block in Duluth to get face-lift

DULUTH -- The Old City Hall block will be getting a face-lift as $148,500 in city funds will be used for multiple purposes.

The proposed budget, which was approved at Monday's city council meeting, includes demolishing three buildings ($60,000), repairing sanitary sewer lines ($20,000), grease trap installation to facilitate the use for future restaurants ($30,000), minimum structural repair to the old warehouse ($8,500), and paving of a parking lot and construction of a walkway ($30,000).

"I think this is a good step in the right direction for the buildings," councilman Jim Dugan said. "The area is hanging on by a thread. I like that we're attacking a piece of it instead of tearing up a whole block and it should increase the economic value of the block."Mayor Nancy Harris said it's important for people to want to come to the city as a destination.

"We want to promote economic development in our downtown area," she said. "These buildings are cornerstones for our downtown area."

Other items on the agenda include:

The city is cooperating with Gwinnett County on a joint project to design and build the Western Gwinnett Bikeway. Phase I is completed, with Phase II up next. The phase will run 2.16 miles between Pleasant Hill Road and Rogers Bridge Road. Federal transportation fund are paying $1,029,970 of the $1,296,443.97 total cost of the project. The city and the county will split the remaining costs ($325,000 each), with the source of the city funds coming from the 2009 SPLOST.

The ordinance for the rezoning of property adjacent to the Korean Church of Atlanta for use as a multipurpose soccer field was brought back up and voted on after multiple public discussions on the matter. Councilman Billy Jones brought up concerns about the agreed upon stipulations being unenforceable and voted no on the proposal. However, the other four council members voted yes to pass the matter.