Suwanee, Gwinnett win innovation awards from Atlanta Regional Commission

“Free Spirit” by Jennifer Freeman, of Johns Creek, was part of Suwanee’s annual “Sculptour” event. (File Photo)

“Free Spirit” by Jennifer Freeman, of Johns Creek, was part of Suwanee’s annual “Sculptour” event. (File Photo)

Two local communities were recognized for innovation as part of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s CREATE Community Local Government Awards program.

Of the six awards, one went to the city of Suwanee and another went to Gwinnett County.

“Our hard-working local governments are always looking for innovative ways to solve problems and create new opportunities for improvement. Without that, the Atlanta region would be just another metropolitan area,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director. “But because of their efforts, our region is a place that continues to grow, evolve and improve itself. It’s no coincidence that metro Atlanta was one of the fastest growing regions in the nation during the last decade.”

Suwanee was recognized in the Arts & Culture category, for its public arts initiative. The city has acquired nearly a dozen permanent pieces of public art, and many of the new developments in the last five years have purchased art for display, an ARC press release said.

Gwinnett’s government received the ARC’s technology award for its stormwater strategic asset management plan. The effort, which began as a way to prevent flooding and leaks, included the inspection and maintenance of 1,336 miles of stormwater drainage pipes and 91,702 structures.

The five-year effort has allowed the county to prioritize replairs and maintenance rather than just react to emergencies. The department now has an accurate inventory of its facilities and had reduced its backlog of complaint-related service requests, the release noted.