Suwanee gives employee Star award

SUWANEE -- In recognizing the accomplishments of the recently adopted 20/20 strategic plan, city officials in Suwanee applauded the effort of a city employee on Tuesday at its City Council meeting.

Jessica Roth, who is the assistant to the city manager, was given the Suwanee Star award for "lasting contributions to the community." Roth organized the city's 20/20 vision that began last year and was adopted by the City Council in June.

Several members of the steering committee and roundtable facilitators of the project were on hand. The plan concluded in April. About 435 residents who participated were divided into 25 groups and discussed where they want the city to be by 2020.

"She was the steady anchor to help make that happen," city manager Marty Allen said.

A Philadelphia-based urban development consultant worked with city officials to lead and organize the project. Roth said it engaged more residents more intensively than any other initiative.

The Council also adopted a resolution that would enable it to collect its portion of an energy excise tax should Gwinnett County choose to adopt it.

A law recently adopted by Georgia's General Assembly would give manufacturers a break on state and local sales taxes on energy resources, including electricity, natural gas, oil and other types of fuel. A phase-out of the taxes will begin next year and be complete in 2016.

Legislators, however, also agreed to allow counties and cities to impose an excise tax on energy equal to the amount of money lost in local sales taxes, if they choose.

The county will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to impose the tax, but cities must opt into -- or out of-- intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) even before that happens.

Suwanee was expected to join other Gwinnett cities, like Snellville on Monday, to adopt the IGA.

The Council also approved a change order with Russell Landscape Contractors, LLC on the landscape project of the medians along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. City officials said Suwanee is responsible for $49,372.75 of the change, while Russell will cover the remaining $33,304.25. The money is to purchase rock, stabilizing materials and larger plant sizes during the current growing season.

The Council gave special recognition to Suwanee Police Capt. Cass Mooney for 15 years of service. Mooney is one of seven officers in the agency with at least 15 years experience.