When your live Christmas tree is past its fragrant, sparkly prime, give it a new sense of purpose through the City of Suwanee's "treecycling" campaign, which is part of Keep Georgia Beautiful's annual Bring One for the Chipper program. Area residents may drop off their former live Christmas trees at Sims Lake Park, located at 4600 Suwanee Dam Road, from December 26 through January 31. Decorations, lights, and stands should be removed from all trees, which will be mulched for use in City parks. More...
The Gwinnett County School Board approved its system redistricting plan Thursday and included some modifications to help ease parents' concerned over the changes. The school system is redistricting to accommodate the opening of four new schools in 2015, including a new high school cluster in the area directly south of Ga. More...
The effort to fill the shelves of the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op got a big boost Wednesday at the Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce luncheon. At the luncheon, a check for $2,296 was given to the co-op through funds raised by the Give Hunger the Boot Challenge - a spirited competition between the cities of Snellville and Grayson; $1,296 was raised in donations and $1,000 was donated by the GECC. More...
A 13-year-old girl is being hailed a hero after an incredible rescue effort when her family's Snellville home caught on fire. Thursday morning, firefighters were called out to a burning house located in the 3100 block of Hall Garden Road Southwest. More...
Taleiyah Brown, 12, was last seen getting off the school bus at the Chelsea Ridge Apartments and into a red, four-door vehicle. News Nearby: Gwinnett Fire said Ania Polk took what she learned at school to get the kids out of the Thursday blaze in the Snellville-area. More...
A Snellville-area teen is being called a hero by firefighters after she helped her two siblings escape from a Thursday morning fire. Gwinnett Fire officials credit Amia Polk, 13, a Shiloh Middle School student, with getting her two brothers, ages 7 and 10, out of their burning home on Hall Garden Road just before 7 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. Amia and her brothers were asleep when she was awaken by the sound of a smoke alarm and then went downstairs to investigate. More...
One of the most popular holiday traditions at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center is the annual series of musical performances featuring local elementary, middle, and high school students. Each year, Gwinnett County schools spread the holiday spirit during the month of December with fun and festive songs. These talented performers brighten the holiday mood for employees and residents doing business at GJAC. If you’re interested in hearing the music in person, click here for the schedule. Or if you can’t make the trip to Lawrenceville, TVgwinnett has recorded many of the performances and made them available to view on-demand.
Christmas Caroling Schedule (PDF)
Please enjoy the individual videos listed below.
Crews Middle School Tripp ElementaryCooper ElementaryKanoheda ElementaryAlcova ElementaryMcKendree ElementaryCollins Hill High School String Ensemble More...
Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash formally presented a proposed $1.42 billion budget for fiscal year 2015 to the Board of Commissioners during a briefing on November 18, 2014.
Four county residents and business people served on Nash’s budget review committee. After hearing presentations from elected officials and department directors in September, the group studied departmental business plans, budget needs, and revenue projections to make recommendations for the 2015 budget.
Common themes heard throughout the presentations included concerns about workforce retention and recruitment and the need to restore funding for certain services that were cut in previous budget years. As a result of the budget review team’s deliberations, the budget proposal holds the line on property tax rates, addresses critical expansion of fire and emergency medical services, adjusts employee compensation, and partially restores funding for some services to meet increased demand.
The proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2015 totals $1.052 billion. The budget will fund pay-for-performance increases for non-sworn employees and a step increase for public safety personnel. It also includes additional staffing for judicial services, the animal shelter, a new fire station, and the new Level Creek Park scheduled to open in 2015.
Roadside maintenance such as mowing and trimming sidewalks and medians and sweeping curbs and turn lanes will be partially restored through the use of contracts with private companies. The County will also bring back Saturday bus service for local routes and add two daily express service trips from the Indian Trail Park and Ride lot. Nash said, “The budget review team members, County staff, and I took a hard look at all of the funding requests, and we ultimately agreed the time has come to restore some of the services that make our community a safer and more attractive place to live and conduct business.”
The proposed $370.6 million capital budget includes construction of two fire stations using SPLOST funds. Fire Station 31 will serve Georgia Gwinnett College and the surrounding community, while Fire Station 10 will be relocated to improve fire and emergency services coverage in the Mall of Georgia area. The relocated station will be staffed with existing personnel.
“We had plans to build these fire stations before the recession hit, and because our population did not stop growing even during those tough economic times, demand for service is greater now than ever before,” said Nash. “I will be thankful to see these buildings come out of the ground.”
In keeping with a history of conservative budgeting practices, the proposed budget was prepared with a long-term outlook in mind. County officials anticipate slight growth in the tax digest in 2015.
The proposed budget resolution summary is available to the public to view online here on the County’s website. A hard copy of the proposed budget resolution also may be viewed in the Department of Financial Services office located in the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center (GJAC), 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville, from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.
Commissioners held a public hearing on December 8, 2014. They invite written comments about the budget through an online comment form through Wednesday, December 31, 2014. The Board expects to adopt the 2015 budget on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.
Quick links for the proposed 2015 budgetProposed 2015 budget resolution summaryBudget highlights presentation Proposed 2015 budget videoMake written comments More...
A new active
community park will be built soon to serve the recreational needs of the
Lanier school cluster and Sugar Hill area in northern Gwinnett County. The 2009
SPLOST sales tax program will fund the $10.8 million contract commissioners
approved in November with low bidder Astra Group Inc.
The 67-acre Level
Creek Park will have a multipurpose field complex, central concessions/
restroom building, walking track, six lighted tennis courts, interactive fountain,
picnic pavilion, playground, and paved trail. Construction of a youth football
press box will be funded by the Lanier Athletic Association. District 1
Commissioner Jace Brooks said, “We are happy to have community partners like the
Lanier Athletic Association to help us provide needed recreational facilities
and programs for our youth.”
More than half of the park’s total
acreage will be preserved. Multiple tributary streams descend through upland
hardwood forest to the park’s primary stream, Level Creek, and a one-mile loop
of natural surface footpath will provide access to the preserved area.
Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “I am grateful to Gwinnett voters for their support
of the SPLOST sales tax programs that provide funding for needed capital
projects like this one.” More...
County government offices, with the exception of those operations required for
the comfort and safety of the citizens of the County, will be closed Wednesday,
December 24 and Thursday, December 25 for the Christmas holiday. County offices
will resume normal business hours on Friday, December 26. A Magistrate Court
judge will be at the Gwinnett County Detention Center during the Christmas
County Police Department’s Holiday Task Force went into action Thanksgiving
night and will continue every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through New Year’s
Eve. This initiative puts additional officers in shopping districts throughout
the county to help reduce crime against holiday shoppers.
you are out shopping for gifts this holiday, the Police Department reminds you
to be safe with these helpful tips:
your surroundings; report any suspicious activity or loitering to the police.
your packages in the trunk of your vehicle. Covering items with a blanket or
coat in the backseat is not a deterrent to thieves.
putting packages into your vehicle, then continuing to shop. Most stores will
hold packages until you are ready to leave.
your vehicle in a well-lit area.
with others and allow retail employees to assist you with transporting packages
to your vehicle.
carry large amounts of cash; use secure payments such as a credit card and
check your account statements frequently.
purchases delivered to your home.
a cell phone camera to record the
serial numbers of gifts immediately after their purchase. Most electronics have
a sticker on the side of the box containing the serial number and other numbers
unique to that particular item.
be extra diligent, send the photos to your email account so they can be
accessed from any computer. Should the worst happen, this information can be
provided to police.
traveling, arrange for someone to collect your mail and newspapers. Do not
announce travel plans on answering machines or social networking sites.
not drink and drive. Many social gatherings are hosted during the holidays where
alcohol may be served, so please call a taxi or use a designated driver and
avoid driving after consuming alcohol.
safe and happy holidays from the Gwinnett County Police Department! More...
Home decorating is a favorite part of the busy holiday season for many Gwinnett residents and different types of decorations can make your home more festive and inviting for your friends and family. However, items such as live trees, candles, and electric light strands can cause fire hazards if used or maintained improperly. The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services wants to remind you about the importance of fire safety this season with the following tips:
A live Christmas tree is a beautiful, fragrant addition to your home during the season. Maximize your enjoyment by selecting a fresh tree and then properly caring for it once you bring it home.
Select only fresh, green trees. The tree's needles should bend, not break and should be difficult to pull from the branches.
When choosing a live tree, bounce the trunk on the ground. If a lot of needles fall, the tree is probably too dry and could be a fire hazard.
Never place the tree near a heat source such as a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater.
Avoid placing the tree under or near heat vents.
Check the tree stand’s water level daily and refill as needed.
Do not leave your tree up for more than three weeks.
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of it is by taking it to one of the participating locations throughout the County during the Bring One for the Chipper event. Click here to find a location.
When using an artificial tree, choose one that is approved by an independent testing laboratory and made of flame retardant materials. When decorating, select ornaments that are made of flame retardant materials. Only use light strands approved by an independent testing laboratory. Never link more than three strands together and be sure to inspect each one for frayed wires, bare spots, cracks in insulation, broken sockets, and excessive kinks. Electrical outlets should never be overloaded. Check wires and outlet covers periodically; they should not be warm or hot to the touch.
Firefighters also urge you to use extreme caution if you use candles in your home:
Snuff out candles and turn off decorative lights whenever you leave home or before going to sleep.
Never place a lit candle near a window or close to anything that could catch fire.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not place candles on or near the tree or decorative wreaths.
And as always, have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home and in each of the bedrooms. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice fire drills regularly. Keep a portable (ABC dry-chemical) fire extinguisher close at hand for small fires.
For more information on fire safety, please contact Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction at 678.518.4845 or email email@example.com. The department offers free home safety surveys and smoke alarm checks as part of its community outreach programs. More...
(Buford, Ga., Dec. 17, 2014) – With the recent dedication of the historic
Chesser-Williams House and the formation of a living history farm on its
campus, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) is excited about
the opportunity to highlight agricultural education.
“Today’s generation has no concept of
how the food we eat goes from the field to the table,” said Steve Cannon,
executive director of the EHC.
“Showcasing life on a typical early Georgia farm will help tell the
story and illustrate the importance of agriculture to our history and our
Partners like AGCO, a Duluth based
global manufacturer of agricultural equipment, are helping the EHC make that
connection between the past and the present to demonstrate, teach and explain
the complexities of both yesterday’s and today’s farming technology.
is excited to partner with the EHC in its mission to educate the community
about the importance of agriculture,” said David Bercik, marketing manager for
Under 100HP tractors and a member of the EHC Foundation Board of Trustees.
With its partnership, AGCO has
provided the EHC with expertise, support and speakers as it plans and develops
educational programming specific to farming.
The company was instrumental in the development of a new summer camp
program entitled Fun on the Farm and has assisted with other agricultural based
programs as well.
company employees have enjoyed working with EHC staff as we introduce a new
generation to the science of farming. We
are also excited to open the door and have kids explore the various career
opportunities connected to agriculture and agribusiness as well as food
science,” said Bercik.
addition to programming support, AGCO has provided two Massey Ferguson tractors
to the EHC. The tractors will help
prepare the fields for planting at both the Chesser-Williams site as well as
McDaniel Farm, a 122 acre depression era farm in Duluth that is managed by the
EHC. The tractors also assist with the
pulling of trams to allow access to the forested trails at both sites.
EHC is very grateful for the support of companies such as AGCO. The expertise the AGCO staff provides is
invaluable as we plan and prepare programming,” said Cannon.
“The tractors provide outstanding
operational support and help demonstrate modern technology that enables
humanity to increase the yield from the land and provide a safe, stable and
affordable food supply.”
For more information about the EHC
and its living history farm program, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org. More...
Ga., Dec.17, 2014) – Board action on Tuesday incorporated three more
subdivisions that have accepted Gwinnett County’s offer to install streetlights
once a majority of homeowners sign a petition agreeing to pay annual operating
costs. Commissioners agreed last year to use 2009 SPLOST funds to install
streetlights in neighborhoods that were built before 1997, when the
County began requiring developers to put streetlights in new subdivisions.
percent of 91 homeowners in Old Dominion off Five Forks Trickum Road between
Lilburn and Snellville voted in favor. Installation of 28 lights there will
cost $13,319 with estimated operating costs of $4,722. Near Snellville, a
majority of the 26 homeowners in Meadow Oak Place agreed to split estimated
operating costs of $1,462 for nine lights that will cost $4,044 to install. And
the 74-home Dickens Creek subdivision south of Norcross will get 16 lights with
installation costs of $32,786 and estimated operating costs of $2,120.
County divides annual electricity and maintenance costs among all affected
homeowners on their property tax bills. Residents who are interested in the
petition process for the streetlight program should send an email to DOTCommunityRelations@gwinnettcounty.com or call (770) 822-7400.
Also on Tuesday, commissioners approved an agreement with the Evermore
Community Improvement District to build a half-mile access road parallel to
U.S. 78 between Britt Road and Old U.S. 78/Walton Court. The project will tie
to a realignment of Old U.S. 78 with Walton Court at its intersection with U.S.
The CID will provide funding for right-of-way acquisition while the
County will manage the right-of-way acquisition and will provide funding for
engineering and construction.
In a related item, the board agreed to apply for and to accept, if
awarded, a $500,000 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant from the Georgia
Department of Transportation for the construction phase of the access road
(Lawrenceville, Ga., Dec. 16, 2014) – The Gwinnett County Board of
Commissioners on Tuesday adopted a water and sewer rate resolution that
eliminates an increase in rates that was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1,
2015. Without this action, water rates would have increased by approximately 3.5
percent and sewer rates would have increased by about 10 percent. The new rate
resolution was also approved by the Gwinnett County Water and Sewerage
Authority on Monday.
As has been the County’s practice, the newly adopted rate resolution
covers several years, or the period of 2016 – 2021. Modest rate changes of
approximately 1.5 percent for water and about 2 percent for sewer are planned
in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
“This plan provides an appropriate funding level for the water and
sewer system’s operations and maintenance needs in the future,” said Commission
Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The efforts of Water Resources Director Ron
Seibenhener and his staff to control costs put us in a position where we could
forego the planned increase in 2015. The district commissioners and I know that
rates have risen considerably over the last few years, and we felt that we
needed to give this relief to the ratepayers.”
Seibenhener cited several examples of efficiency improvements and cost
reductions, including process changes at water treatment and water reclamation
facilities that have reduced the use of both chemicals and power. The
department has reduced water loss throughout the system with an advanced leak
detection program and lowered the number of costly equipment failures with
staff training focused on improving preventive maintenance. “Most importantly,
we have optimized our capital program to ensure the right projects are
happening at the right time in the right way,” added Seibenhener.
Gwinnett County has also taken advantage of favorable credit ratings
and low interest rates to refinance water and sewer bonds. Interest savings on
long-term debt for capital projects as a result of refunding are approximately
$30 million, freeing up funding for other purposes.
Under the new resolution,
basic water rates for a residential home will remain $4.85 per thousand gallons
through the end of 2016. Residential water rates will rise by seven cents per
thousand gallons every other year starting in 2017, topping out at $5.06 per
thousand gallons in 2021. Residential sewer rates, which are $7.82 per thousand
gallons today, will remain the same until the end of 2016. Then, these rates
will increase in alternating years beginning in 2017. The total increase for
residential sewer rates during the seven-year period will be 48 cents per
For more information about future rate increases for residential,
retail and wholesale accounts, visit www.gwinnettcounty.com. More...
(Lawrenceville, Ga., Dec. 16, 2014) – Three major road improvements,
eight intersections, 35 sidewalk/pedestrian safety upgrades and 14 resurfacing
projects will share city and county funds from the current SPLOST sales tax
program. Acting Transportation Director Alan Chapman shared details about the
projects with commissioners during a briefing on Tuesday.
The 60 projects are included in 22 agreements hammered out between the
county government and its 16 cities. Commissioners approved the first agreement
on August 5 and the last on December 2.
Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “We appreciate all of the
cities working so well with County staff to put the necessary agreements
together so we can move forward and meet our promises to Gwinnett voters. I
look forward to seeing the results of their hard work that will benefit all of
The 2014 SPLOST program requires cities and the county to use at least
65 percent of their share of SPLOST revenue for transportation projects. The
County must also use $25 million for joint projects if cities pay at least 19
percent of the cost for transportation-related projects that benefit both city
and county residents.
Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, who also serves as president of the
Gwinnett Municipal Association, said, “The term win-win is probably
overused, but it does seem to apply here.I am proud that the cities and
Gwinnett County were able to develop a mutually beneficial approach that seems
to meet the needs of both groups while simultaneously putting forth the types
of projects that the community wants and needs.”
The County held 15 meetings with individual cities and three group
meetings with the Gwinnett Municipal Association between last December and
February of this year to discuss potential projects. A Citizens Project
Selection Committee recommended specific joint-funded projects on March 24 and
commissioners approved the list on April 16. Cities will manage construction
for projects in 12 of the 22 agreements; Gwinnett County will manage the rest.
Note:Click here for a list of the joint
(Lawrenceville, Ga., Dec. 16, 2014) – Construction is slated to begin
soon on the new J.B. Williams Park at 4925 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn.
Commissioners approved a $5.18 million construction contract Tuesday with
Vertical Earth Inc.
to complement existing facilities at nearby Mountain Park Park, the highlights
include a 325-foot lighted baseball field with bleachers, a central plaza and a
restroom/concession building. Other major park components include a 1.8-acre
fenced dog park, a skate plaza, and a three-quarter mile paved trail, plus a
picnic pavilion, playground and open play lawn.
2 Commissioner Lynette Howard said, “J. B. Williams Park will provide needed
facilities for our sports programs in partnership with the Mountain Park
County bought the 26-acre property in 2008 from the J.B. Williams family. A
citizens’ steering committee helped develop the master plan and the final
design was approved by the Recreation Authority last year.Funding comes
from the 2009 SPLOST program
greatly appreciate the work of the citizens who served on the steering
committee and the Recreation Authority in planning this park property,” said
Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “I’m pleased that we are continuing to
deliver the SPLOST-funded capital projects that voters approved.” More...
WHAT: The Department of Water Resources will host a free water conservation workshop.
Residents who attend will receive a low-flow retrofit kit, outdoor water
efficiency kit, do-it-yourself home water audit guide and information on how to
apply for the County’s toilet rebate program.
WHY: The workshop will teach residents
how to increase water efficiency in their homes.
HOW: Residents can register for the workshop by sending an email with their name,
address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (678)
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
County Justice and Administration Center, Conference Room A
75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, Ga. 30046 More...