Big Annexation Request, Tax Increase Opposition and a Worthwhile Community Project

A look at a few of the most notable stories this week on Dacula Patch.

Whether or not you live within the city limits of Dacula, this is big news. A property development group has filed an annexation application to have a 157-acre tract of land annexed into the city limits. The reason for the annexation is that the developers believe the city will be able to act more quickly on planning and zoning issues than the county would. If all goes as planned, the developers intend to build a large “live, work, play” community near Highway 316 and Highway 29. This community could have a huge impact on the entire area in terms of traffic, revenue and future development.

Though the planning commission has yet to vote on this request, planning and development staff has recommended this rezoning and special use permit request be denied. That is good news for the hundreds of Hamilton Mill residents who have expressed their opposition to the idea of a 50-bed personal care facility being built in the middle of a large residential area.

What do you do when you have a budget you have to balance and not enough money to do that? Dacula city leaders are considering increasing the millage rate in order to collect enough money in 2012 to have a balanced budget. If they leave the millage rate as is, the city will end up $10,000 in the hole. It is worth noting the revenue is to pay for the 2012 budget that was put before city residents and approved last December. The property tax revenue for the 2012 budget doesn’t come in until Gwinnett County tax bills are mailed in the fall. Before the tax bills can be mailed, the cities have to set their millage rate and that cannot be done until the county provides the numbers for the 2012 tax digest. Well, unfortunately for our local governments, the tax digest is down again this year. That means city leaders have an approved budget under which they have been operating for more than half the year and not enough money to pay for expenses unless they increase the millage rate. 

After years of falling home prices, the bottom may soon be here. Some real estate experts expect the market to hit bottom by 2013 and then begin a slow recovery. After the drastic drop in Dacula home prices over the past few years, this is welcome news. 

Dacula Patch readers by now should be familiar with the name Reba Shelby Jack. This young lady (and Miss Memorial Day 2012) has done a great deal of community service work in our community. This week, she posted an announcement on Dacula Patch asking for help collecting new and used books and teddy bears for a service project. If you can help, please do so. Click on the link above for details. 

Be sure to check in during the week for the latest news and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest news in your inbox with our free daily email newsletter.  Have a great week and thanks for reading Dacula Patch.

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