A proposed expansion to Dacula City Hall will add office space and provide the city with the opportunity to complete much-needed repairs to the existing building.
During their Feb. 27 work session, council members reviewed two proposed concept plans -- both of which would provide at least an additional 3,200 square feet of space.
Option A would add 3,257 square feet to the existing city hall building. The projected cost of $439,695 does not include the cost of the cupolas depicted in the concept drawing.
Option B -- with an estimated cost of $454,815 -- would add 3,369 square feet of office and meeting space.
Both plans include four new offices, a meeting room, a unisex restroom, server room and storage.
The city has allocated a total of $615,000 for administrative facility construction. With an estimated construction cost of $135 per square foot, the city would still have money left over to replace the 16-year-old roof on the existing building and restore the medallion on the front facade.
"We're not building the Taj Mahal here," said Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks. "We're building a practical, useful addition to city hall."
According to City Administrator Jim Osborn, the concept plans are not final, but are a tool which will be used when the project is sent out for architectural design.
Commercial Corridor Rezoning
On Feb. 6, the Dacula City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution for the legislative annexation of 34 properties totaling approximately 75 acres along Highway 29 between University Parkway and Dacula. The properties are part of a proposed commercial corridor. If the annexation is approved, city leaders have proposed zoning most of the acreage (70.15 acres) as C-2, which is categorized as general business district within the city, and 4.87 acres as M-1 (light industrial).
The legislative annexation -- HB 999 -- passed in the state house on Feb. 21 by a 156-5 margin according to Mayor Wilbanks. It was read in the state senate on Feb. 24 and was referred to the state and local government operations committee.
"We're working on the assumption it's going to be passed," Wilbanks said.
Proposed Property Ordinance Amendment
Dacula Marshal Steve Cline believes an amendment to the city's outdoor storage ordinance may eliminate some of the complaints the Marshal's Office receives regarding evictions. When a person or business is evicted from a residence or commercial building, state law allows the property to be placed outside. That discarded property can be an eyesore for city residents.
"Typically we have a 10-day rule," Cline said. "However, ten days is too long on an eviction."
Cline has proposed allowing property owners three business days to remove discarded belongings from the site of an eviction.
"The quicker they get it up, the better for everybody in the city of Dacula," Cline said.
During the Feb. 27 council work session, Cline also discussed a proposed amendment to the occupational tax ordinance which would change the permit period for city licenses to run from from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. The change, Cline said, would make it easier for city business owners to meet county and state requirements which require the business to have a valid license in hand before applying for certain permits.
Sidewalk Connectivity Project
A million dollars a mile -- that's how much a 5-foot sidewalk costs to construct according to Mayor Wilbanks.
The city is considering a joint project with Gwinnett County which would use SPLOST funds for sidewalk projects on county roads within the city limits. The city has until April 1 to submit a list of proposed projects for review by the Gwinnett Citizen Review Committee, which will in turn issue recommendations to the county.
"They want to see connectivity of sidewalks," said City Administrator Jim Osborn.
If approved, $751,861 will be provided by the county with a 19 percent match -- $142,854 -- provided by the city.
In other business Thursday night, council discussed the submission of the 2015 Community Block Development Grant which would provide funding for improvements on Eunice Holcombe Circle, Shane Lane, Jody Avenue and Scott Circle. Also, City Administrator Jim Osborn advised council of the need to issue a new request for qualifications (RFQ) for the annual public work services contract. Only one company responded to the first RFQ.
The Dacula City Council will hold its monthly meeting next Thursday, March 6, at 7 p.m. The council meets at Dacula City Hall, located at 442 Harbins Road in Dacula.
Northern Gwinnett County news including the cities of Dacula, Ga. and Buford, Ga.