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Norcross leaders vote to purchase land

NORCROSS -- City Council members voted Monday to purchase the land located at 250 Pinnacle Way in Norcross, for a price not to exceed $53,689. The parcel will eventually be upgraded and improved (at a total estimated project cost of about $250,000) for use as a city park.

The structure on the parcel of land will be either sold or leased. According to city manager Rudolph Smith, it will cost about $67,567 to get the structure ready to sell, but once improved, it could sell for between $300,000 and $325,000. Council members did not decide Monday whether to sell the structure as-is (for an estimated $198,000) or refurbished.

Councilman Keith Shewbert said Monday that he wanted to be sure citizens knew that the cost to the city would be much more than the $53,689 for the parcel of land with the structure. "I want to be totally up front with everybody that this project can cost $250,000 or higher," Shewbert said. The projected cost for the first year of work on the project is about $230,000, and another $30,000 for the second year.

Councilman Andrew Hixson said, "In four years on city council, I don't think we've vetted another purchase as much as we have this one."

SPLOST funds, money from the SDS settlement, proceeds from the sale of the city's water and sewer service, and the city's general fund can be used to pay for the park and structure improvements, according to Smith.

Smith honored for 15 years of service

Mayor Bucky Johnson surprised Smith on Monday by reading a proclamation thanking the city manager for 15 years of service to Norcross. When Johnson finished reading the proclamation, he, council members and the audience gave Smith a standing ovation.

One special-use permit approved, one denied Monday

Council members approved a special-use permit for an adult daycare center to be located at 5390 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. The center will be an addition to the Whole Care Wellness Center, at the same location in a different suite, and it will serve patients requiring rehabilitation, adult daycare, and those who can not afford assisted living.

A special-use permit for New Jerusalem Dream Center, a church that helps immigrants integrate into the community, was denied Monday. The permit was requested for an industrial building located at 2900 Cole Court. Limited parking was an issue, as was noise that may have affected nearby neighbors.

While Johnson, council members and nearby residents and business owners said that they support what New Jerusalem does for the community, the industrial park location was not the best. Johnson and others on council said that the city's Economic Development Manager Rusty Warner would assist the church in finding a more appropriate location.