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College enrollment surge could lead to expansion
Council gets update on UNG campus
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Forsyth County News

Cumming’s mayor and city council heard a presentation Tuesday night on the University of North Georgia’s Cumming campus.

Mac McConnell, a university official, said the site, which opened in summer 2012 off Pilgrim Mill Road near Ga. 400 at Exit 16, has seen dramatic growth in student population.

He said during the fall semester 2012, it registered some 500 students, 100 more than anticipated.

This fall, enrollment has swelled to about 750 students. McConnell said if that pattern continues, the college could see its first expansion sometime within the next the couple of years.

Also during their meeting Tuesday night, the mayor and council:

* Accepted a bid of about $700,000 from Johnson Landscaping for improvements at Kelly Mill Road and Hwy. 20. The project is slated to be finished by year’s end.

* Considered closing Mason Street behind the site of Forsyth County’s new courthouse while it’s being built. After a public hearing in which the owner of Dairy Queen restaurant, with entrances on the road, spoke against the full-time closure, council agreed to allow the road to be closed from 6 to 11 a.m., reopen until 1:30 p.m. and then close again from 1:30 to 6 p.m. until the project is complete.

* Discussed an emergency culvert replacement that is under way at the Veteran’s War Memorial. Due to unusually heavy rain this summer, a culvert under Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard nearly collapsed, requiring a new drainage system throughout the park site.

The cost of the project has not been determined as crews work to resolve the issue. The money will come from the city’s contingency fund.

* Approved Worldwide Macs’ bid of $12,000 for basketball jerseys for the Cumming Recreation and Parks Department.

* Granted an alcohol license request for Pollo Tropical, a new restaurant going up on Market Place Boulevard.

* Awarded bids for the following items for the utility department: $1.9 million to JG Leone Enterprises to build a new pump station and force main on Ronald Reagan Boulevard; $68,000 to Jasper Grading and Pipeline for an 8-inch water line and two fire hydrants on Ed Shirley Lane; and about $18,000, $26,000 and $20,000 to Billy Howell Ford for three replacement vehicles. All of these items were included in the 2013 budget.

* Appointed Doug Sorrells to replace Richard May on the county health board.

* Agreed to buy a replacement sign on Pirkle Ferry Road after the previous one was struck by lightning. The new sign will cost about $25,000, which will come from the contingency fund.

* Heard an announcement of the grand opening of the Cumming Regional Readiness XXX on Sept. 14.

Events, all of which will be open to the public, are set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Guard armory on Aquatic Center, off Pilgrim Mill Road.

* Recognized the utility department for recently receiving 15-year platinum awards from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals and the National Association of Clear Water Agencies.

* Signed a proclamation recognizing Sept. 2-6 as Civic Participation Week in the city.

* Announced performances by The Chuck Wagon Gang at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Cumming Playhouse, and the 2013 IPRA World Championship Rodeo at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 and 31 and at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.