Bowl Improvements. Construction continued this month on improvements to The Bowl. The VIP suites has a roof now, with decking and is prepared to receive the characteristic copper finish metal panels that will match the stage and City Hall roofs. The sound control room has been clad with brick as have the planter walls, retaining wall facing The Bowl and some of the walls bounding the sidewalks in the area. The ADA seating area has been backfilled and the shade sail columns placed for this portion of the site as well. The contractor is working their way back toward the driveway on Temple and out of the site with the plaza area, splash pad and equipment building next on the work program.
Maintenance Building at Gary Pirkle Park. This 4,000 square foot maintenance and storage building is complete and ready for occupancy this month. The project experienced some mild weather delays since beginning in November along with a minor setback as the result of a large, immovable rock outcrop that had to be worked around. The building will serve as the base of operations for our recreation maintenance crews once the existing facilities at E.E. Robinson are transferred to the County.
EpiCenter. The contractor and architect are actively moving toward construction of the project, while staff continues to work through a number of scheduling options before identifying a groundbreaking date. The panels for the construction sign have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive this week for installation. The project team is meeting regularly to work through the remaining design decisions and finalize the construction documents which will follow site development this summer.
Sugar Loop. The preliminary report for the Sugar Loop Greenway trail has been reviewed and the final report is being prepared by the City’s consultant. The 16-mile loop through some of the picturesque open spaces in and around Sugar Hill is now the subject of some discussions with GDOT, ARC, and other agencies as staff looks to identify funding for future phases of project development.
Retreat at Orr’s Ferry. The facility on Cumming Highway, just before the Chattahoochee River, is undergoing some repairs to the interior, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems to restore their operation. The roof is also being repaired as well after some leaks had been identified on the second floor of the house. The conceptual floor plans have been delivered for two scenarios under which the facility can be developed—either as a retreat center with more subdued, passive uses or as an activity center with more intensive outdoor recreational uses in mind. The conceptual drawings will be used to market the project to investors or partners as we seek funding for the vision.
Planning and Development:
In the first quarter of 2016 housing starts outpaced 2015 by 223% (103 to 46). The permit count in March returned to normal with nine permits for detached single family homes with an average size of close to 3,600 square feet and ten permits for multi-family homes with an average of just under 2,300 square feet.
Several residential land disturbance permits are currently under review. These include The Gates at Lanier, a 33-lot subdivision proposed for the Suwanee Dam Road area and The Preserve at Addison Woods, a 62-lot subdivision also located in the same area.
New commercial development and redevelopment currently in review includes: Sugar Hill Auto Collision for their new facility on Old Cumming Road as well as Rossini North America for an addition to their existing facility on Brogdon Exchange.
The building permit for the new Reeves+Young 40,000 square foot headquarters on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard was recently issued while they continue their site development.
Existing businesses are also taking steps to improve the experience of their clientele and to attract new customers. Kroger is working on plans to add a Clicklist to their store. For a fee, customers will be able to order a selection of goods online to be picked up at a specified time without having to leave their vehicle. Publix has also recently submitted for an interior remodel which will include reskinning and reorganizing fixtures, updating their Apron’s meals presentation section, and expanding their pharmacy. In addition, Metroflex Gym located next to Quality Foods in the Sugar Hill Station shopping center has upgraded their electrical capacity to accommodate better exercise equipment.
Parks and Recreation:
Recreation. Our active recreation programs began last month with the beginning of baseball season, gearing up for the spring training and the regular season at E.E. Robinson. In addition, we held our annual Easter Egg Hunt at the park on March 19th with more than 500 photos taken with the Easter Bunny and 30,000 eggs placed for our thousands of “little” guests at the park. Maintenance and repair are the focus of attention as leagues began play for the spring at both parks and we are working on a few repairs to the field lighting system at Gary Pirkle Park.
Golf. Weather contributed to a slight increase in rounds for the month (365 rounds on 23 playable days) as the mild winter gave way to a few storms, but generally warmer weather. The staff was able to finish the upgrades/repairs to a number of the bunkers on the course to help challenge players or, in some cases, improve the fairway play. Staff was able to partner with Channel 11 on additional advertising for the course on several of their media outlets, with a commercial, internet posts, flags, and multimedia tags.
A new group began regular play at the course this month with a Tuesday morning women’s association event. The group saw around a dozen or so ladies begin regular play and represents an untapped demographic in the sport of golf. The SHGA continues to have a big presence at the course with monthly tournaments bringing close to forty participants.
Marketing, Events and Economic Development:
Sweet Life Concert Series. Tickets are currently on sale for our kickoff concert, headlined by the eclectic Grammy award-winning band, The Mavericks on May 28th. The 2016 Grammy-nominated group hails from Miami and is influenced by the sounds of neo-traditional country, Latin, and rockabilly styles. We still have seats available, but the choice seats and tables are going fast. Only one suite remains for the Sweet Life Concert Series.
Later in the season, we will be hosting Blues Traveler on June 11th and Kool & the Gang on July 16th. Tickets for Third Eye Blind on September 3rd will go on sale this Friday, April 15th. To purchase tickets or a table, visit www.thebowlatsugarhill.com.
Sounds of Summer Concert Series. Our free concert series features Joe Hall, Haley & Alexis Band (June 18), Ants Trippin’, Fly Betty Band (August 27), Red Head Diamond, and Moby Dick (September 17).
Georgia Cities Week. The theme of this year’s Georgia Cities Week is “Go to Town” and begins one week from today. There are a lot of activities planned including a coloring contest for grades Pre-K through 5th and an “If I were Mayor” essay contest for grades 6th through 8th. We will also be hosting an online scavenger hunt on our new website.
Boot Camps. Scott Andrews is hosting a free boot camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays in front of City Hall at 5:30 PM. The boot camp is free to the public. The average number of attendees is around 15-20. Participants are asked to log their workouts into the Team Sugar Hill Active Georgia web site. – www.cMeCompete.com. We need your help to keep our title so we would love for all residents of Sugar Hill to log their workouts to help Sugar Hill get back on top!
Road Races. Sugar Hill Serves 5K and 10K is now open for registration. The race is this Saturday, April 16th, starting at 8:00 AM in front of City Hall. In addition to the race, there will be opportunities to learn about healthy cooking and how to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
Thursdays @ The Hill. Thursdays @ The Hill kicks off on April 21st at 6:00 PM and the Youth Council is planning on giving tours of City Hall to middle school student council members during the event. We will once again feature some of the City’s favorite food trucks and a live performance from Chase Thomas. Food Trucks include: Cousins Maine Lobster, Smokin’ Mo’s, the Mobile Marlay, King Kabob, Island Chef Mobile, Bucket O’ Shrimp, and The Hot Dog Ninja.
Sugar Hill Business Alliance. The Sugar Hill Business Alliance will meet this Thursday at 5:30 PM in City Hall. SHBA meetings are a great way to network, meet new potential clients, and make new friends. “Welcome to Sugar Hill Packets” and welcome letters will be sent out to all new businesses in the area.
Community Engagement. The Next Stop, which is an organization that serves adults with special needs, will be posting several bird houses around the city. These bird houses are made by members of the organization. The Next Stop provides an opportunity for adults with special needs to interact and engage with their peers. They will be hosting a ribbon cutting of their birdhouse at the first Thursdays @ The Hill on April 21st.
City Staff will be attending a job/internship fair at Lanier High School on April 21st. This will be a great opportunity to reach out to high schoolers and identify some experienced interns that want to be part of the excitement that is Sugar Hill.
City Staff has also been asked to participate in the Lanier High School Women’s Symposium on April 18th.
Players Guild. The Players Guild @ Sugar Hill is now officially a 501c3! They received their approval and all documentation from the IRS this week. Congratulations to the leadership and volunteers of this great community asset.
Public Works and Utilities:
Gas Department. Our gas staff continues to transition to an electronic work order and service support system called Hiperweb, providing a tool to track and report our workload for compliance purposes more efficiently and effectively. We also recently honored our natural gas workers on Friday March 18th, recognizing their service and commitment to safety during the last 12 months as well as to show our appreciation for their successful completion of the five-year PSC audit earlier in the month. MGAG also held their regional meeting in Buford on March 7th, reviewing a number of changes proposed for 2016, one of which will require Council action on an Amendment to one of our contracts later this year.
Street & Stormwater Department. The mosquito spraying program has been scheduled for the year to begin on May 30th through June 10th. A second round of spraying will be completed in July. We have also scheduled the annual spring cleanup days to begin on Monday, May 9th. This is a chance for our residential sanitation customers to get rid of some unwanted bulk items via curbside pickup. Please recall that we limit the types of items that can be collected. A flyer is being circulated along with a newsletter and website posting regarding the opportunity and limitations on what is authorized to be collected. Acceptable items include:
- Broken / Discarded Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Broken / Discarded Appliances (NO refrigerators or freezers)
- Other general debris lying around the yard or basement
- Furniture (Maximum of 3 small pieces)