By Kristi Reed
Plans to sell a metal building located on the site of the old Dacula city hall property have been scrapped after liability and safety concerns prompted city council to revisit their previous decision regarding the disposition of the shed.
Last month, the Dacula City Council voted to auction off the building by sealed bid rather than demolish it along with the old city hall building. City Attorney Dennis Still, who was not present when the vote was held, later advised council that selling the building might not be in the city's best interest.
"When you start trying to salvage a building, it's going to take more time. I can visualize delays. I can visualize more liability," he explained during the July 3 council meeting.
Not only would there be safety concerns while the building was being removed from city property, Still cautioned, that liability might also extend to the rebuilding of the shed.
"If they move it and they put it up in another location and somehow there is some defect in installation or putting up ... I can see us being dragged into a suit on liability issues," he said. "It's just cleaner, it removes exposure, when you just salvage it."
Council members took Still's advise to heart, voting unanimously to include the metal shed in the old city hall demolition project.
MAYOR TO NEGOTIATE GAS AGREEMENT
On April 3, the Dacula City Council approved a 10-year agreement with the City of Buford which, for the first time since Buford began providing gas service to Dacula in 1954, will include a 4 percent franchise fee payable to Dacula. The City of Buford has not yet approved the agreement, citing concerns the 10-year period is not long enough given the $500,000 Buford Gas plans to spend upgrading the high pressure main serving Dacula. On Thursday night, council authorized Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks to begin negotiations with Buford Commission Chairman Phillip Beard regarding the length of the agreement and the applicable franchise fee. Wilbanks discussed two possible options -- a 15-year agreement with a 6 percent franchise fee and a 30-year agreement with an 8 percent franchise fee. In both scenarios, gas customers would pay 4 percent of the fee with the rest paid out of the Buford Gas enterprise fund.
In other business during the July 3 council meeting, Donna Peairs was sworn in as the newest member of the Dacula City Council and the council awarded a $34,800 contract for resurfacing and replacing asphalt on Misty Court to Allied Paving.
Also, Mayor Wilbanks announced the City of Dacula will hold a public hearing on July 9 at 6 p.m. to accept input on the proposed 2014 millage rate. City leaders are considering using the rollback rate of 5.44 mills which would result in the collection of an estimated $686,478 in property taxes. The 2013 rate was set at 5.9 mills. The council will adopt the new rate on July 16 at 6 p.m. during a called meeting.
"The tax digest is beginning to creep up a little bit, so we think we'll be able to consider the rollback rate for 2014," Wilbanks said.
The public hearing will be held at Dacula City Hall, located at 442 Harbins Road in Dacula.
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Northern Gwinnett County news including the cities of Dacula, Ga. and Buford, Ga.