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Police, teachers honored by Suwanee Council

SUWANEE -- Community was highlighted on Tuesday at Suwanee's regular City Council meeting as city officials recognized local teachers, police officers and approved an alcohol license for a new restaurant.

Mayor Jimmy Burnette honored teachers of the year from the North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge cluster schools, who were selected last fall by Gwinnett County Public Schools. Police Chief Mike Jones gave seven awards to officers including Michael Troutman as Officer of the Year, and Capt. Clyde Byers, who earned a Chief's Award, who is retiring in June.

The Council approved an alcohol license for Friends Suwanee Grill at 3890 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. Owner Ray Stanjevich also owns locations in Dacula and Dawsonville. The Friends location is in the space formerly occupied by Corralejo Mexican Flair and Tequila Bar, behind Town Center Park.

Stanjevich said he hopes to open in the next month, possibly by March 16 for the Suwanee Beer Fest.

The Dickerson Group was awarded a contract of $99,880 to complete a Town Center Park well irrigation system project. The city also accepted an irrigation water line easement from Precision Design and Development Company Inc. A six foot wide water line easement is needed along portions of an alley behind residences on Portland Trail Drive and Suwanee Avenue.

Last summer, city officials searched multiple areas around the city for a location that would provide enough water to irrigate Town Center Park.

Officials have explored this in case a drought impacts the area like it did in 2007 and 2008. The well would avoid water restrictions from Gwinnett County, which supplies water to Suwanee. The irrigation is one way city officials are trying to preserve the grass at the park.

A contract with BS&A Software for $182,645 was approved for the purchase of new financial software.

The city is looking to replace its 10-year-old computing software so it can better communicate with internal and external systems. The current system doesn't allow for bill payments, and doesn't interface with more sophisticated systems.

The Council also approved intersection improvements at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and McGinnis Ferry Road that would cost a maximum of $75,000. Suwanee would commit 50 percent of the funding for the design and construction costs that would be completed by Gwinnett County.

The money would come from a Facilities Enhancement Fund, because the project was not planned for in the Capital Improvement Plan.

The Council also appointed Deborah Fluker to a vacant judge position in Municipal Court, and Sharu Rajgiri to the Planning Commission.

A proclamation was made for March 16 to celebrate Arbor Day, and hold a tree planting ceremony at Sims Lake Park.