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Unterman, Murphy attend Sugar Hill council meeting

SUGAR HILL -- Sugar Hill City Council's monthly meeting Monday night featured two noteworthy personalities and a similarly noteworthy decision.

State Sen. Renee Unterman came to accept an award, and Gwinnett County School Board member Mary Kay Murphy came to address the city whose schools she represents. Afterward, the council voted to broaden its alcoholic beverage ordinance.

Unterman was presented by the Georgia Municipal Association its Champion of Georgia's Cities award for her support of its initiatives. Specifically, GMA acknowledged Unterman's support of a bill allowing cities to create vacant and foreclosed property registries and another helping regulate metal theft.

"I don't do these things to get rewarded," the senator told the council upon accepting the award from GMA associate Ashley Meggitt. "I just do them because I believe in them."

Murphy shared the school board's strategic directions with Sugar Hill, as she had other District III municipalities Norcross and Duluth. Particularly, she promoted the district's eClass Initiative, a digital learning system funded by last year's extension of SPLOST.

"We will be powering our students up as they come into our classrooms, rather than asking them to power down," she told the council.

The council voted unanimously to amend its package alcohol sales ordinance to allow wine tasting at the request of Kroger. The grocery chain requested the ordinance allow occasional tastings in a segregated room off of the sales floor, where guests could sample wines under the guidance of company representatives and potentially guest speakers.

Drawing from ordinances in Alpharetta, Roswell, Suwanee, Duluth, Atlanta and Dalton, Sugar Hill's ammendment allowed licensees to hold tastings no more than six times annually and for no more than two hours each, with guests consuming a maximum of four two-ounce samples, and bottles opened only by employees. An annual fee of $100 for a tasting license, in addition to $1,500 licenses for wine and beer package sales, also will apply.