SNELLVILLE — In a break from what’s been expected in Snellville, the City Council on Monday agreed on every measure it voted on.
At its regular meeting, the council approved changes to a sign ordinance, a solid waste ordinance and three nominations to the city’s Public Arts Commission. All of those votes were 6-0, which was a stark contrast to what many would describe as a typical meeting.
Mayor Kelly Kautz also outlined her vision for a cultural arts center, and how she would propose to pay for it.
Kautz gave more details about the Wisteria Square property, also known as the “bridge to nowhere,” that she first outlined two weeks ago. Kautz said her vision includes a stage and performance area and rental space for weddings and other events.
Kautz said the costs of other cultural arts centers in Duluth and Greensboro were $1.5 million and $2.5 million, respectively.
Kautz said the city could expect a $15 million projection from the 2014 SPLOST, and that $3 million of that could be allocated for the cultural arts center.
“We already own the property, and typically that’s the biggest expense,” Kautz said.
Kautz added that the city is developing a list of projects for the 2014 SPLOST, and she appointed council members Diane Krause and Dave Emanuel, along with staff members, to an ad hoc committee to work on the list.
Councilman Mike Sabbagh and staff would also work on developing a smartphone software application for the city, Kautz said.
Nominated to the Public Arts Commission were Judy Leavell, Alisa Boykin and Shannon Foster. Leavell is a retired drama teacher and actor in film, television and theater. Boykin is co-owner of Time 2 Inspire art school and an author. Foster is a local artist and Georgia Gwinnett College student.
City Manager Butch Sanders outlined a mid-year budget update, which he said was mostly on schedule. The report was from figures through Dec. 31. Sanitation had about a $223,000 expense over revenues. Sanders said the silver lining was, “we provide a great service when it comes to recycling.”
Planning Director Jon Davis outlined changes to the city’s sign ordinance, which included a stronger purpose of intent and measured on a sliding scale of sign area per wall area. Sign spinners also will be required to be on private property, and away from a public road, Davis said.
Vehicle wraps must be parked at the side or rear of a business so they don’t create an additional sign at the front of a property, Davis said. Electronic message boards will not be allowed to change more than once every 15 minutes, and the ordinance banishes animation or blinking.
Davis said city staff has provided more details to business associations, boards, the planning commission and is posted on the city’s website.
A solid waste ordinance approved Tuesday requires notification of the public works department before a residential building permit is issued, Sanders said, and a commercial account must also be established.
“It puts a little more teeth in the ordinance,” Sanders said.
Police Chief Roy Whitehead honored two citizens, Jerry Walter Anderson and Matthew Todd Anderson, along with Sgt. Bruce Swain, who responded and prevented a shoplifting suspect about 10 days ago. The Andersons and Swain, after the incident began, realized the suspect was armed and, later learned, was wanted for stealing silencers from a gun shop. Whitehead praised the citizens, and said a police department is only as strong as its interaction with the community.