Management Report – December 2019

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Five single-family home permits were issued in the month of November, averaging 2,186 square feet each. A commercial remodel permit was issued for the Orangetheory Fitness to be located in the E Center. Certificates of Occupancy were issued for Southern Grace and Manley, Spangler, Smith Architects in the E Center.

Residential Permit Issuance by Date

Residential CO Issuance by Date

In the month of November, 242 building inspections were accomplished; a decrease from the 267 performed the previous November. Year-to-date, there has been a decrease in overall building inspections with about 550 fewer inspections carried out in 2019.

A total of 312 zoning and property maintenance code inspections were performed in November compared to the 188 inspections performed in November of the previous year. An additional 460 code enforcement inspections were completed compared to those carried out in 2018.

PARKS AND RECREATION

Parks.  Regular maintenance occurred throughout Gary Pirkle Park. All In Futbol Club and i9 Sports leagues continue practice and play on the fields. Several projects were completed at the Community Garden to improve the plots and surrounding area.

Downtown and City Hall. Regular grounds maintenance activities continued at City Hall, The Suite Spot, The Bowl and the Plaza. Holiday decorations were installed throughout the downtown area.

E Center. Gym memberships now exceed 8,300 with a variety of different activities and health-focused classes offered. The Waterfall Banquet Room continues to remain consistently reserved as many private rentals occurred over the past month with more scheduled for the remaining days in December. Holiday decorations were installed on the interior and exterior of the center creating a festive scene for guests to enjoy.

Golf.  Due to the mild temperatures and multiple tournaments held at the course, this past month proved to be the busiest November compared to the past five years. Greens maintenance continues with the application of seasonal fertilizers and other treatments. Repairs on equipment were performed and the irrigation pond project reached completion with only minor punch list items remaining.

EVENTS

November welcomed a variety of events in Sugar Hill. The Players Guild hosted The Game’s Afoot in The Eagle Theatre from the 8th to the 17th of November. A month of movies from the series of Harry Potter was also offered at the theatre. Two 5K races were held downtown including a Veterans Day 5K and Festival for charity. Over 2,000 people attended these events and experienced downtown Sugar Hill.

The Annual Holiday Celebration was held on Saturday, December 7th and was a great success with nearly 5,000 citizens and guests in attendance. Event attendees enjoyed free family photos with Santa, the tree lighting, fun activities throughout the downtown area, dance performances at The Eagle Theatre, a Holiday Market in the E Center gymnasium, delicious food from the food trucks, ice skating and even some snow.

Upcoming Events.

The Eagle Theatre:

12/10                         Movie: Elf (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/14-12/15              All-Stars dance recitals

12/17                         Movie: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/19                         Tim Shelton’s A Very Vintage Christmas Concert (8:00 PM)

12/21-12/22              Suwanee Performing Arts dance recitals

Winter Break Movies:

12/23                          The Polar Express (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/26                          The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/27                          Die Hard (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/28                          Love, Actually (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

12/29                          Ice Age (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

1/2                              The Holiday (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

1/3                              Chronicles of Narnia (11:00 AM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Veterans Day. In partnership with the American Legion Post #127 and the Suwanee Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the City of Sugar Hill honored veterans during a special ceremony on the 11th of November. The event was attended by over 200 guests.

Glance Gwinnett. The city hosted Glance Gwinnett at the E Center and City Hall on the 13th of November. This 2 ½ day mini program is hosted by Leadership Gwinnett and brought community leaders from across Gwinnett County to downtown Sugar Hill. Joel Hoffman and Nadia Merritt from the Economic Development Department both participated in the program. Mayor Steve Edwards and City Manager, Paul Radford spoke to the group.

Sugar Hill Arts Commission. The Arts Commission celebrated some of the city’s talented young artists at a reception for “Live Art Showcase”. The special show features work from 13 local students from Lanier and North Gwinnett High Schools who created works with live painting at the annual Sugar Rush Festival. The exhibition will be on display in the Art Room at City Hall until the 27th of December.

PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES

Gas Department.  The Georgia Public Service Commission completed an inspection and audit of our public awareness program and found the department to be in full compliance.  We are closing in on 4,000 of our accounts having automated meter-reading transmitters for the system since the replacement program began in late 2017.  Staff also completed utility-locate services on 393 sites for the month and worked with our construction contractors in various sites around the city to protect our underground utilities.  The staff has been working through regulatory compliance tasks, new service installations, and 146 other service requests to round out the workload last month.

Street & Stormwater Department.  Staff has been preparing for upcoming seasonal changes with winterizing mowing equipment, preparing storage locations for the same and shifting to winter operations.  Leaf, lawn clippings, and debris management has taken the front seat as the cooler and windier weather has contributed to the demands from these services.  Thirteen (13) loads of yard debris were collected and hauled to our disposal site during the month.  Staff has been working through tree trimming in the rights-of-way.  Our stormwater staff completed repairs to two sinkholes and performed development and maintenance inspections associated with our stormwater permit.  In addition, staff cleared out drains and inlets prior to recent storm events.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

E Center.   New South was able to complete a number of steps on the way to closing out the warranty, having constructed the replacement handrails in the theatre, repaired the waterproofing layer in the water feature pools and made some changes in the HVAC controls system.  There are a few more steps to close-out the remaining warranty items and the project management team is pushing to finish by the end of the month, as soon as we can confirm their satisfactory completion.  Manley, Spangler, Smith Architects, Southern Grace floral studio, and our newest office tenant are now open.

Sidewalks Projects – Whitehead and Suwanee Dam Roads. Construction on Whitehead Road was nearing substantial completion during November for this important SPLOST-funded pedestrian project and will shift operations to Suwanee Dam Road.  Just under a few short segments of sidewalk are left before concluding the two miles of sidewalks on Whitehead, one of which is between Sugar Ridge and Arbor View and will be deferred to allow the county to repair a stormwater pipe prior to completing work on that segment of sidewalk.  With Whitehead Road completed, the contractor will bring in a few more crews to tackle the north end of Suwanee Dam Road.

Sugar Hill Greenway.  The main segment of the greenway is being redesigned to address comments from Georgia Department of Transportation as well as from Gwinnett Water Resources and an interim review copy has been provided. The next segment to be constructed will be along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from E.E. Robinson Park to the county’s new park, completing a continuous segment of just less than a mile.  Additional alignment and scope modifications are underway in order to keep the project moving on the two ends of this phase.

Veterans Memorial Relocation.  Surfaces Group, the city’s general contractor, is continuing work on pavers and granite panels throughout the project as they were able to pause for the Veterans Day activities, celebrating with the community.  Surfaces Group is still waiting on several granite panels, which must be prepared and cut before they can be delivered and placed, notably on the curved portion of the water feature.

2019 Bowl Improvements.   Barnsley Construction has completed turf removal as well as drainage and bedding layer installations for the synthetic surface. They are also well into the vertical construction of the concession building with the foundation completed and structural steel installed.  During the last two weeks of the month, they were able to begin the block work for the walls and are preparing for interior utility rough-in.  The bid scope includes customer-focused improvements, such as lighting, sound, and visual enhancements centered on concessions space and finishes.  The contractor anticipates reaching substantial completion in April and appears to be ahead of schedule.

Gary Pirkle Park Field Improvements.  The design for this project to upgrade the natural turf fields southeast of Richland Creek is in the final design stage, but is running behind with input from the turf supplier slowing down progress.  The proposed synthetic turf solution will be weather-resilient, providing three field sizes and four different configurations as options.  Soils and geotechnical testing have been completed, which will determine the amount of earthwork required for drainage layers in the turf system.  Plans appear to be about four weeks behind schedule and may shift the construction window into late 1st quarter of next year.

Art/History Room Buildout – Broadstone Project.  Staff has advertised a request for design proposals for the buildout of these two spaces in the Broadstone project, seeking professional architectural services with experience in art galleries and museums.  The project is part of the proposed 2020 budget.  Proposals are due the 12th of December.

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