Land for the new Cumming City Center, an upcoming recycling event and a proposed change to the makeup of the board were among items at Tuesday’s work session for the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
All items were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
After previously speaking to the Cumming City Council, officials with Keep Forsyth County Beautiful presented to commissioners a plan for an upcoming hazardous waste collection event at the Cumming Fairgrounds this spring.
Commissioners approved an agreement between KFCB, Forsyth County and the city of Cumming for the event. Cumming will pay $5,000, $10,000 will come from the county’s water and sewer fund and the county will make up the remainder of the estimated $50,000 cost that is not paid for by sponsors. Those dropping off items will also be asked for a $5 donation.
The event is estimated to bring in about 500 cars, larger than previous paint and electronics recycling events.
If the event is successful, KFCB said it may reach out to some surrounding counties, namely Cherokee and Dawson counties, to take part since their waste goes to the Eagle Point Landfill.
The city of Cumming will grow by about 46 acres after commissioners approved issuing a letter of no objection for the city annexing land for the planned Cumming City Center. The land is located between Canton Highway (Hwy. 20 east) and Tribble Gap Road.
While most annexations require the approval of all residents living in the area, this annexation is being considered under what is known as the 60 percent method, which requires that both 60 percent of voters and 60 percent of landowners are in favor of the annexation.
The portion of the property being annexed for the city center is being considered for apartments by an individual developer.
Current county residences are included in the annexation area, but not planned for the city center. That property is included in the proposed annexation to avoid the creation of an island of county property.
The annexation will now go to the Cumming City Council for approval.
“I think everybody is excited about the city center and that it’s going to be a positive thing,” said District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills.
Though they took no action, and likely won’t for a number of years, commissioners discussed a potential change to the make-up of the commission.
Prior to 2010, voters could vote county-wide for all five commissioners. Currently, commissioners are voted on by only their district.
While residents have debated the merits of both systems, it appears the county could eventually see a hybrid of both with four commissioners elected by district and a chairman voted on county-wide.
The idea is gaining some traction but no decision will be made until after the next census is done in 2020.
“Candidly, particularly if the board of commissioners has any interest at all in asking the general assembly to divide the county up into different districts, they’re not going to do it now would be my respectful thought,” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. “They’re not going to take that issue on until they are otherwise looking at redistricting in general.”
In a previous straw poll for Republican voters, 58 percent favored voting by district and 41 percent voting county-wide, and in another question, 59 percent of those voters wanted to see an at-large chair voted on county-wide with four commissioners selected by district.