Also during their meeting Tuesday night, Cumming’s mayor and city council:
• Approved the purchase of 72 acres between Lanier 400 Parkway and Pilgrim Mill Road.
City attorney Dana Miles said council discussed the land acquisition during its executive session prior to the Nov. 20 meeting.
At that time, he said, an offer was made for $25,500 per acre for 68 acres of the tract and $12,500 per acre for the remaining four, which are part of Forsyth County’s water line easement.
That offer was accepted by the property owner, PLM Associates LLC.
Miles said the land will be used for future utility projects, likely water distribution.
• Adopted the city’s 2013 budget of about $24.6 million.
The spending plan includes $11.1 million in the general fund, $12.5 million in the water and sewer fund, and $1 million in 1-cent sales tax revenue.
• Approved buying the following for the department of utilities: a dump truck for about $37,400; a mini-excavator for about $44,000 and a 20-foot trailer to haul it for nearly $4,000; a replacement 25-foot trailer for about $7,000; and a phosphorous monitor for about $12,000.
• Approved three beer and wine package sales licenses for Country Corner Citgo, Chevron Food Mart and In & Out Grocery.
• Announced City Hall will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.
— Crystal Ledford
Plans for a new private, Christian school in Cumming cleared the city council Tuesday night.
During its regular monthly meeting, city council unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Epiphany Orthodox Christian School of Mathematics and Science.
The private school will be housed in three suites of West Maple Office Park, 514 West Maple St.
Principal Sydney Lee was among several people who spoke in favor of the plan during a public hearing that preceded the vote. No one spoke against the permit.
Lee said plans are to open in March or April with an initial enrollment of about 25 preschool students and expand to include additional students in grades kindergarten through fifth in fall 2013.
“We’re very excited to offer the community, not just Cumming but the surrounding communities, the opportunity for more education and continued business growth,” she said.
Lee said the school likely would remain in the office park for at least three years.
If enrollment deems it necessary, the school could later build a two-story facility on 5 acres of the property.
Scott Morgan, the city’s director of planning and zoning, said the planning and zoning board recommended the council approve the permit with several conditions.
Among them were letters of support from surrounding businesses that use the office park, which Morgan said he had received, as well as the approval of future parking, safety and playground plans.
The board also asked that the council revisit the issue in June 2013 after school leaders have a better handle on enrollment and future plans.
Mayor H. Ford Gravitt also made a condition that a traffic study be completed to determine if any road improvements were needed to support a school.