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4 things to know from this week's Cumming City Council work session
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Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Proposed new water fees, a policy for filming movies and TV shows and two development groups were among items discussed this week at a work session for the Cumming City Council.

All items were approved by a 5-0 vote unless otherwise noted.

Work sessions are held on the first Tuesday of each month at Cumming City Hall, and the council’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 18.

New fees

Developers could see new fees for connecting to water and sewer within the city limits.

“I think we’ve got some room to raise the water rates and generate some revenue,” said Jon Heard, director of the city’s utilities department.

The water line fees will increase from: $1,600 to $2,200 for 3/4-inch lines; $2,300 to $3,800 for 1-inch lines; $10,000 to $11,500 for 2-inch lines; $18,900 to $22,000 for 3-inch lines; $29,400 to $37,000 for 4-inch lines; $68,200 to $75,000 for 5-inch lines; $101,900 to $110,000 for 6-inch lines.

For sewer, the new costs would be $7,500 per residential unit and a rate of $30 divided by gallons used per day.

According to information from Heard, the rates are comparable or less than those in surrounding areas of Forsyth, Cherokee and Gwinnett counties and the city of Gainesville.

“I did not want to add in the city of Atlanta’s rates,” Heard said. “They’re unbelievable.”

Filming policy

Filming for movies and television is big business in Georgia, and a new policy could help the city be better suited for filming.

City officials said the city has received some requests for filming, particularly at Mary Alice Park.

“It may be time that we adopt a formal policy where we would have a permit they’d have to get,” said City Administrator Phil Higgins. “If nothing else, it lets us know what’s there and gives us kind of a head’s up.”

According to IMDb.com, the city has been the filming location for several movies, including “Hall Pass,”  “Smokey and the Bandit” and “American Reunion.”

No action was taken at the meeting.

Development authorities

The city also moved ahead with two groups to help economic development in the city.

At the meeting, officials discussed adding new members to the development authority and adding a downtown development.

City Attorney Kevin Tallant said the authority was first created in the 1970s and brought back “several years ago,” though the terms of those members have expired.

The group is proposed as having seven members, including Councilman Jason Evans.

No action was taken for the development authority.

For the downtown development authority, which was approved for each city in the state, the city will need to establish the downtown area the group will be over.

“The downtown development authority is focused on just your downtown,” Tallant said. “It can be things like beautification projects and do things like revitalization projects. It can also own and lease real estate.”

City center

Last month, the city announced plans for a new city center near Forsyth Central High School.

This week, the city received an update on some of the technical parts of the project from Andy Lovejoy, president of Civil Engineering Consultants.

Lovejoy said about a third of the property is in a floodplain, though most of it is in the park areas rather than commercial portions of the project.

“What we’re proposing to do is [have] hydrologists do a specific study of this site to determine whether, first of all, this is in fact where the floodplain is,” he said. “Two, [they] can do a study to prove that.”

Lovejoy said water and sewer lines and pedestrian access are among other issues to be worked out.

The new city center, located off Canton Highway, will have an amphitheater, miniature golf, walking trails, park, veterans memorial, space for businesses and a lake with a fountain. The center is expected to open within two years.