Troop 21 of the Boy Scouts led the Norcross City Council in its regular monthly meeting Monday for November.
Many items were discussed during the meeting, but the major debate of the evening was the proposal to create a city-recognized Norcross Arts Commission, which was tabled 4-1 with Councilman Charlie Riehm in opposition.
Dedicated to improving the arts scene in the Norcross area, the commission would consist of unpaid volunteers who are professionals with skills in marketing and other areas, according to Riehm, who spearheaded the effort.
What's different from this commission and the current Norcross Arts Alliance is the alliance is not recognized by the city and is currently filled with volunteers who are passionate but aren't professionals.
While the topic to increase the arts has been discussed in past meetings, the idea to create a commission is new, which is the reason why the council said they felt hesitant to move forward with it because the legislation keeps changing. The original proposal made in earlier work policy sessions made other suggestions, such as having a paid director position who would be dedicated strictly for the arts.
Riehm reasoned that, regardless of what the original proposal had and what the legislation the arts may need in the future, the city needs an official city group dedicated to the arts.
The councilmen noted that it may be better to discuss the issue at the annual January summit, with all the facts about the arts support laid out and scrutinized.
Other agenda items include:
- The legislation for the Gateway Signage and Downtown Digital Reader Board was tabled for the November policy work session so that the council can discuss the issue after the full probable cost of construction is estimated.
- A special-use permit was approved for a company to operate an automotive tire store at Beaver Ruin Road and the I-85 Southbound ramp, under the added condition that landscaping be added to the legislation. The council voted 4-1 on the issue, with Councilman Craig Newton voting against it. After the meeting, Newton explained that the location needs a better city gateway entrance than a tire store, which Norcross already has plenty of.
- The council approved the resolution to submit an application for a safety study concerning the railroad tracks at Holcomb Bridge Road. The item was added at the last minute because it was a time-sensitive issue.
- The rezoning at 2350 Beaver Ruin Rd. was approved to be rezoned from (neighborhood business district) to C-2 (general business) with the exception to omit condition two, which states that the business should be divided into two separate parcels.
- Norcross Police Officer Carl Bolson was sworn in at the meeting. Retired twice from DeKalb County Police and the DeKalb school system, Bolson now works for Norcross part time.
Items that were passed on the consent agenda include:
- The model pole attachment license agreement
- The Barton Street Waterworks Facility feasibility study
- A special alcohol permit for the city's Third Thursday Arts Parties
- Funding for emergency roof repair for Norcross City Hall
- A budget amendment for park maintenance
- The intergovernmental agreement/Gwinnett County energy excise tax
- A resolution to adopt the revised emergency operations plan for Gwinnett County and its municipalities
- Do the Arts Need More City Support in Norcross?
- Norcross City Council Split on Digital Reader Board
- Should Norcross Replace its Reader Board With a Digital One?