PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Permits/Inspections. Six (6) new homes were completed and sixteen (16) new homes were permitted during the month of March. Of the sixteen (16) new units, five (5) were townhomes with an average of 2,541 heated square feet and eleven were detached homes with an average of 2,837 heated square feet.
Last month staff performed 212 building inspections which is very close to the 222 conducted last year. At 496 inspections year-to-date, first quarter 2021 activity is down about 24% in comparison to the 648 conducted last year.
Property maintenance inspections are slightly down for the month and year-to-date (9%) over 2020. This is mostly due to the fact that both code enforcement officers invested several days in continuing education at the Georgia Association of Code Enforcement conference in early March. Over the last couple of months, Caleb Harris has worked toward earning the level one certification and was awarded his certificate at the 2021 Conference. His dedication to improving his knowledge and skills will certainly have a positive impact in our neighborhoods. We are proud of his work in the community and happy to celebrate his accomplishment.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Parks. Precision Turf, LLC completed the replacement of the damaged west side of Gary Pirkle Park. The new fields look great and opened for play late in March. Several punch list items need to be completed including path and parking lot repairs. ALL-IN FC and i9 Sports seasons began early last month and are progressing nicely. Guests have been very complimentary of the new facilities. The expansion of the Community Garden is also near completion. Over 70 gardeners are enjoying their new expanded plots and growing a wonderful spring crop. We would like to express our appreciation for all the volunteers that worked to complete this beautification project.
Downtown and City Hall. Weekly maintenance was performed throughout the downtown area and on the grounds of City Hall. Staff worked to landscape, prune and clean the beds and plants and fresh mulch was applied. The water features received weekly maintenance and cleaning leading up to a busy slate of activities for spring break. The Plaza and Bowl were also the focus of cleaning in preparation for the 2021 outdoor season.
E Center. Gym memberships have reached 12,832 and thorough cleaning practices continue throughout the facility. Several private rentals occurred in the Waterfall Room and classrooms. The gym floor and bleachers were thoroughly cleaned, and the floor was re-surfaced and opened back up to the public in March.
Splash Pad. A few small repairs were made along with cleaning in preparation for the season. The park opened on April 7th and has been extremely popular.
Golf. March continued a successful trend with pleasant weather and good attendance at the course. Spring growth and maintenance is in full swing with the Bermuda turf greening up for the season. The Sugar Hill Golf Association held a tournament on Saturday, March 20th with 22 players enjoying a nice day of golf and fellowship. The SHGA group has another tournament scheduled Saturday, the 17th of April.
Events. The month of March brought several weekend dance recitals, a musical, James & the Giant Peach, Jr., and Indio Brewing’s Sour Patch 5K. Spring Break Bash movies began last week at The Eagle with $2 tickets and showings at 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Proper seat spacing was practiced for safety of all guests.
Upcoming Events. The Gwinnett Chamber Business After Hours networking event is coming to the Plaza this Thursday, April 15th beginning at 5:30 PM. All interested participants can register here. The Players Guild will open their next show, Dilemmas with Dinner this Friday, April 16th and will run through the 25th of April. Tickets are available on The Eagle website. The Bowl will host the band Smichki for an eastern rock concert on the 17th of April. The show begins at 7:00 PM and tickets can be purchased here. There will be some disturbance to downtown traffic flow on April 20th and 21st for filming of a TV series. Updates will be communicated on the website and social media as information becomes available. Sugar Hill Live is back on the Promenade beginning the 21st of April. Come out to enjoy live music from 6-8 PM and visit our downtown shops and restaurants. Lanier High School will hold a private event, a socially distanced prom in The Bowl and The Plaza on the 24th of April. Several other private events are scheduled in The Bowl and The Eagle. For more information on 2021 events, please visit www.thebowlatsugarhill.com and www.eagleatsugarhill.com
The Events Department welcomes Curtis Britland to the team. He will serve as the part-time Venue Assistant at the History Museum and Art Gallery.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
News and Information. Sugar Hill History Highlights are now being featured on the city’s Instagram stories. In collaboration with the Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society, the City goes back in time to experience the creation of Sugar Hill and the events, people, and buildings that shaped the city into the special community it is today. It is time to dive deep into our sweet city’s past, filled with rich history and memorable places. Every Monday on Instagram, the Sugar Hill community has questions answered during Q&A with the Mayor. Community members can submit questions via the comment section at the end of the story on Monday. There were 61 veteran brick orders for the Veterans Memorial Plaza. We are currently on track to have those installed prior to Memorial Day 2021.
Business News. The businesses in the downtown area are starting to host Spring/Summer events in their spaces. Central City Tavern, Indio Brewing, and the Biergarten at the Sugar Hill Distillery all have programming kicking off this month.
PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES
Gas Department. We are hovering at just over the halfway mark for the installation of our automated metering system, out of 11,861 meter locations. Our utility locating staff completed services on 538 sites and worked with our construction contractors on various sites around the city to protect our underground utilities. Staff has been working through regulatory compliance tasks, new service installations, and 117 other service requests to round out the workload last month in addition to monitoring gas lines with the water main replacement project in Frontier Forest.
Street & Stormwater Department. Yard debris collection slowed for the month with eleven (11) loads of mulch and 118 truckloads of bagged clippings collected. This generated twenty-four (24) loads of debris to the disposal site. The stormwater department responded to four (4) requests for rock to ensure stormwater stabilization in addition to wrapping up our annual reporting period with Georgia Environmental Protection, which closes at the end of April. Right-of-way mowing has been in high gear for some time with much of the larger roadways growing well with the springtime rainfall.
Sugar Hill (Main) Greenway Trail. TriScapes Construction (TSI) is substantially complete for the nearly 2,500 linear feet of new concrete trail along Level Creek Road and connecting segments. TSI is now working on the asphalt portions of the trail through the old EE Robinson Park (North), having graded and placed gravel base for the section in the park. The raised crosswalk and retaining walls have been completed in this section as well. A proposed at-grade trail crossing on Level Creek Road is being installed between the Markim Forest subdivision and the back entrance to Gwinnett Church. While some surveying & clearing has been completed in the remaining sections, these sections will get underway later in the Spring.
The TSI contract will encompass about 4 and a half miles of trail construction, beginning at the intersection of Level Creek Road and Church Street and extending both along roadways and through natural areas to Whitehead Road, temporarily ending at a trailhead parking lot at the Bethany UMC Church located at 144 Whitehead Road near the new bridge. The Whitehead Road trailhead at the Bethany United Methodist Church parking lot is back on track for construction now as we have a solution for the soft soils and groundwater issues at this location.
Gary Pirkle Park Field Improvements. Both sides of the park have the turf installed and the west side still needs a few more items to be resolved before we ramp up the competition. The east side (new) of the park is complete and has already had at least one tournament at the end of February.
Sweet City/22-Acre Passive Park Project. Architectural design work has been completed for the restroom and pavilion building to establish a style consistent with historic uses on the property. In addition, the lower pond is being drained and further evaluation of its condition is needed to determine a scope for repairs or improvements associated with this phase of the project. The dam of the lower pond has been cored and evaluated. The repairs required will be detailed in a subsequent report from the geotechnical engineer.
Roadway Resurfacing & Repairs 2020/2021. This contract has been signed and notice to proceed issued for this year’s edition of the road repairs program. Allied Paving is the city’s contractor for this set of streets and will begin work the week of April 19. The following roads are slated for inclusion in the proposed contract:
Hunters Oak Trail
Riverside Walk Drive
Forest Green Way
White Oak Drive
Mountain Ridge Way
Spring Willow Drive
Grand Loop Road
Eagles Rest Trail
Summer Breeze Lane
Long Needle Court
Gold Mine Park. This 9-acre passive park’s construction is currently out for bid and will get underway in early summer. The park serves as a trailhead on the city’s greenway and offers a chance for guests to learn more about the city’s gold mining history.