Friday, December 21, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Berkeley Lake annexes Hermitage Plantation subdivision
BERKELEY LAKE -- A public hearing was held during Thursday's city council meeting in Berkeley Lake, giving residents and property owners of Hermitage Plantation subdivision the opportunity to discuss annexation into the city. A few subdivision residents voiced concerns regarding the action, but after asking questions of mayor Lois Salter and council members, those originally opposed to annexation had their questions answered to their satisfaction.
The bottom line for subdivision residents, according to city administrator Tom Rozier, is that they will save money by becoming residents of Berkeley Lake rather than unincorporated Gwinnett County. By not having to pay the county's storm water utility fee and streetlight fees, and by paying lower garbage collection fees in the city, Hermitage Plantation homeowners will realize appreciable cost savings following annexation.
Salter also let concerned property owners know that repairs to the dam on Lake Berkeley are being paid for with FEMA funds and city reserves, not with their city tax dollars.
City ahead of schedule on bond repayment
As Salter promised taxpayers with regard to bond repayment for repairs to the lake's dam, the city will start early payoff of the bond used to fund the repairs, with complete repayment expected in the first quarter of 2013. Salter made the promise to taxpayers based on city receipt of FEMA funding, which was eventually granted to Berkeley Lake by the federal agency.
"This means we will pay off the bond in a little over a year," Rozier stated.
The city's greenspace bonds were recently refinanced, resulting in a $158,000 total savings to the city over an 8-year period. According to Rozier, Berkeley Lake will be a debt-free city in 8 years, barring any unforeseen circumstances requiring additional borrowing.