First on the agenda is the swearing in of re-elected council members, Jay Lowe (Post 2), Jeanne Aulbach (Post 4) and Weare Gratwick (Post 6).
Also on the agenda is a discussion of joint SPLOST projects between Peachtree Corners and Gwinnett County. "The county has set aside $25 million for joint projects with cities," said Council member Jeanne Aulbach in an email message.
In an email message sent out earlier this week, Council member Aulbach outlined the progress by the City Council for 2013 which Patch is reprinting with her permission.
Recap of 2013
The past year was full of firsts for our city. We implemented Planning & Zoning and Code Compliance. We entered into a contract to provide solid waste services beginning the first of this year. I wanted to take a minute to recap what I think were our top three stories.
In early November, the city became aware of the sale of the Roberts property when it was contacted to begin the permitting process to construct apartments on the land. The city immediately began talking to the purchaser, Lennar, to see if there was any way to change to the plans, to no avail. Because the land was zoned for apartments, we could not legally stop the development.
At that point, we began discussing purchasing the land in order to prevent apartments. We closed on the land in late spring. The next step was to find a developer who would purchase the land and develop it as a mixed use town center. We had three responses to our RFP. Our Downtown Development Authority rated the proposals based on the financial strength, experience and ability to attract business to the location.
The DDA selected the top two contenders, Fuqua and TPA (Tech Park). Both have agreed to build to the city’s vision. We are now in the process of negotiation. If we cannot reach agreement with Fuqua, we will then negotiate with TPA. If we cannot reach an agreement with TPA, we will begin the process again.
Taxes and Fees
We started the city with a millage rate of .85. When we adopted our 2014 budget, we dropped the millage rate to zero, no property taxes for Peachtree Corners property owners. We were able to do this because we can run the city services on franchise and business license fees. Except for a small increase in the franchise fee on electricity, we were already paying these fees, but the city got no direct benefit from them. There are other miscellaneous fees that the county used to collect that now go to the city.
The one fee increase was on our electric franchise fees.
Even with that increase, it is actually now less expensive to live in Peachtree Corners than in unincorporated Gwinnett County. Our county taxes are less than those in unincorporated Gwinnett. Plus we save on trash pickup!
On January 1, the city will begin to provide city wide trash pickup through a partnership with Waste Pro. This contract results in significant savings for our residents as well as adding some optional services. The new monthly price of $11.50 per month for basic trash and recycling saves everyone $86 annually. If you also had yard waste pickup, the new price is $2.95 per month representing a total annual savings of $170.
You also have an option of using a larger wheeled recycling bin for $1.20 a month. And there is an optional recycling rewards program. When you enroll in the program, you will receive a RFD device to attach to your recycling bin. You earn points for recycling that can be used to redeem rewards from local merchants.
If you are a senior, you can apply for a 15% discount on your services, a great benefit for those on a fixed income. And if you are handicapped and unable to put your trash out at the curb, you can arrange for doorside pickup.
Mark your calendars. On February 3, 2014 we will switch to Monday pickup! For those concerned about holidays, if there is a Monday holiday, just put your trash out Tuesday. The only holidays impacting trash pickup are Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
A Note about Future Council Meetings
Going forward, we will go to a single council meeting a month. We have implemented all services and no longer need to meet as often. Meetings will be on the third Tuesday every month and will include a working session at the end. Also, there will be no Planning Commission meeting this month as there are no land use requests requiring approval. You can keep up with land use requests here on the city web site. Planning Commission meetings are normally on the second Tuesday of the month.
Keep up with what's happening around town - sign up for the Peachtree Corners Patch daily newsletter.