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City of Cumming raises rent for Tams Backstage restaurant
city

CUMMING — Rent is going up for a popular downtown Cumming eatery.

During its monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Cumming City Council voted 5-0 to charge Tam’s Backstage more money to occupy the lower level of the historic 1927 Cumming Schoolhouse.

According to City Attorney Dana Miles, the move stems from a recent assessment of properties conducted by Chattahoochee Valuation Group of Cumming.

“They have appraised the value of the restaurant lease in the city school building at $33,600 per year, which equates to $2,800 per month, which is an increase over the past lease by several hundred dollars a month,” Miles said.

Mayor Ford Gravitt said restaurant officials were interested in continuing the lease.

“It’s a $300-a-month increase from what it currently is,” Gravitt said. “The current lease is a five-year lease and it is $2,500 hundred a month, and the new lease goes to $2,800 a month.”

Tam’s Backstage is owned by Kelly Tam, wife of Forsyth County District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam.

Also during the meeting Tuesday night, Gravitt announced that the city will hold a public hearing next month on its proposed 2016 budget.

“We’ll have budget hearing a 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 here at City Hall,” he said. “At that time, I’ll give highlights of the state of the city condition at that meeting.”

The council also approved two water line projects after hearing from Jon Heard, the director of Cumming Utilities.

According to Heard, the projects will replace pipes affected by Forsyth County’s project to widen Bethelview Road. The bid was awarded to Strickland and Sons Pipeline of Gainesville for about $2.9 million.

“Bethelview Road is the westernmost boundary of our water and sewer service,” Heard said. “The road construction that is planned will damage our waterlines … so the city has been working diligently for the last year and a half to design a new water line for that roadway and sewer system.”

The city will also work with the county to install some new waterlines on Lake Shore Drive and areas that have issues with gravity sewer.

“There are streets and properties along Lake Lanier and those properties drain towards the lake, so it’s very difficult to install gravity sewer in those areas,” Heard said.

“What works best for the city and the county governments is to install a low-pressure grinder system.”

Heard said residents in the area will be responsible for their individual grinder pump. The low bid for the project was $62,805 from Amos Backhoe of Cumming.