Sugar Hill passes $19.4M 2013 budget

SUGAR HILL -- Following a required third public hearing, the Sugar Hill City Council passed its 2013 budget at its monthly meeting Monday night.

The roughly $19.4 million budget is considerably less than this year's $28.2 million one, which included most of the nearly complete $11 million, 33,000-square-foot City Hall at West Broad Street and Temple Drive downtown and $6 million parking deck, amphitheater, amenity pond and a half-mile streetscape down West Broad between Peachtree Industrial and Ga. Highway 20.

Despite reduced property tax revenues and a significant reduction in tax parcels and natural gas customers because of the planned widening of Ga. 20, Gwinnett's fourth-largest city seeks to further its reputation of doing more with less.

Among next year's budget highlights are a $450,000 expansion of parking at Gary Pirkle Park, a $200,000 sidewalk project on South Roberts Drive and $450,000 in road improvements. Also included is $500 for a third-mile-long road from Ga. 20 north to a planned 90-acre athletics, sports medicine and retail development between Sugar Hill Golf Club and the Chattahoochee River.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Approved James and Ruby Nell Bailey's request to place a 12-by-24-foot storage building in the side yard of their corner residential lot at 6000 Eagle Close Lane in The Links subdivision. The council also approved the Baileys' request to reduce setback requirements from 10 to five feet.

• Approved resident Richard Jenkins' request to annex and rezone his property at 1205 Buford Highway from neighborhood business district to general business, for use as a commercial office. Jenkins wants to lease the 1,500-square-foot building on the property to a plumbing contractor, who would park work trucks there.