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Norcross holds off on creating arts commission

NORCROSS -- Norcross councilman Charlie Riehm on Monday proposed that the City Council create and appoint five members to a Norcross Arts Commission, thereby officially throwing municipal support behind the arts in the city.

"The arts are becoming more important to economic development," Riehm said, adding later that the Atlanta Regional Commission encourages local governments to demonstrate support for the arts.

Riehm proposes to bring together legal, accounting, marketing and other professional disciplines on the proposed board in order to form a unified arts alliance in Norcross. According to the councilman, the Norcross Arts Alliance volunteers currently in place are "not passionate" about bringing together all the successful art groups in the city and spearheading fundraising and further growth.

Not so fast, though, countered mayor pro tem Andrew Hixson.

"When you create a board, receipts are soon to follow," Hixson said, asking Riehm exactly how "city support" of the arts would happen.

Hixson and councilmen David McLeroy and Craig Newton said that while they support the arts, they do not want a city-funded commission or paid positions in place to do so.

Mayor Bucky Johnson suggested as part of the discussion that "this would be a great item for the (council) retreat in January."

Following councilman Ross Kaul's motion to table the issue until further details and specifics could be outlined, City Council members voted 4-1 to table the question of whether to create the commission until after the retreat, with Riehm casting the only dissenting vote.

Rezoning on Beaver Ruin Road approved

The property at 2350 Beaver Ruin Road was rezoned Monday to accommodate an office furniture showroom and warehouse. The existing 4,000-square-foot building has been unoccupied for one and a half years, and used to be a carpet showroom and warehouse.

A special-use permit was also approved Monday for the property located at 1804 Beaver Ruin Road (at Interstate 85). The applicant plans to open a tire store at the location, selling tires on the Internet and installing them for customers on site at this location.

One of the conditions of granting the permit is that landscape improvements must be made to the property, as that location is considered a gateway to the city. The permit was approved by a vote of 4-1 during the council meeting, with Newton casting the only vote to deny the permit.

Signage to be considered at November policy session

Chris McCrary said Monday that he will have price estimates for three proposed signs available for review at this month's policy session. A digital reader board in the downtown area and two other monument signs along Holcomb Bridge are being considered by City Council.

The LED reader board will be used to efficiently communicate news and events to residents and business owners. The other two signs will welcome residents and visitors to the city.