Also Tuesday night, the Cumming City Council:
• Approved a $4.05 million loan from the general fund to the Cumming Development Authority.
The funding will be used by the authority toward construction of a four-year college on Pilgrim Mill Road.
Earlier this year, the city joined with North Georgia College & State University, Gainesville State College and the Georgia Board of Regents to develop the project.
The colleges formed Pilgrim Mill Center LLC for the project. Loans from the development authority will be made to the company, which will then repay them quarterly over the course of 10 years.
• Authorized Mayor H. Ford Gravitt to handle the paperwork for establishing the university and authorized deeding the 25 acres for the project to the Cumming Development Authority. The authority will in turn deed the property to the board of regents.
• Accepted Worldwide Macs’ bid of $12,300 for Cumming Recreation and Parks Department’s youth basketball jerseys.
• Awarded an alcohol-on-the-premises license to Fox’s Pizza Den on Market Place Boulevard. The license allows it to sell beer and wine.
• Signed a proclamation recognizing Sept. 21 as International Day of Peace.
• Announced the Cumming Country Fair & Festival will be held Oct. 6-16 at the Cumming Fairgrounds, and the musical “42nd Street” will be presented at the Cumming Playhouse beginning Oct. 14.
— Crystal Ledford
The city of Cumming is expanding.
During a meeting Tuesday, mayor and council approved the annexation of seven parcels of land owned by Northside Hospital-Forsyth.
Scott Morgan, the city’s director of planning and zoning, said the undeveloped property totals about 66 acres.
"I believe this is property the hospital plans to use for future expansions," Morgan said. "But I don’t know the specific plans for it."
The current hospital site, about 43 acres, is within the city limits.
The council also postponed a vote to annex 20 parcels called Ventura Park, an industrial park off Pilgrim Mill Road northeast of Cumming.
Scott said the property, which includes less than 35 acres, will be annexed later this fall.
He explained that next month the city will annex in a small parcel of land along Pilgrim Mill in order to close a gap between the current city limits and the park property.
"The city owns that property and it just needs to be officially annexed into the city limits," Morgan said.
Morgan said the 20 parcels that make up Ventura Park will be annexed in November and December.
"We have to split the annexation into two pieces because we have 100 percent of signatures from the owners of the first nine parcels, but we only have nine of the other 11 signatures," Morgan said.
The first nine parcels will be annexed during November’s council meeting, while the remainder will be annexed the following month under a procedure known as the "60 percent method."
"If we have at least 60 percent of the total acreage, the law says we can annex the total property," he said.
Morgan noted that the two remaining parcel owners are "not opposed to the annexation, they just didn’t want to sign the annexation petition for some reason."
He said the hospital and business owners in Ventura sought the annexation.
Annexation into the city can mean lower water and sewage rates, with no increase in property taxes, Morgan said.
"The city doesn’t leverage any property taxes and, if you’re a city water and sewer customer, you get lower rates if you live within city limits," he said.
"I think those are probably the two biggest reasons why businesses want to be annexed into the city."
The properties in question are currently in Forsyth County’s District 5, which is represented by Commissioner Jim Boff.
Contacted Wednesday, Boff said he was aware of the plan and that the annexations would not have an effect on county tax revenue.
Staff Writer Alyssa LaRenzie contributed to this report.