Make 2017 More EVENTful
The City of Suwanee is currently accepting event applications for community events to
be hosted at City of Suwanee parks during 2017. The deadline for applications is December 9, 2016. Once the City's event schedule is approved after the first of the year, no additional events may be added.
Each year, the City of Suwanee hosts, primarily at Town Center Park, more than 40 City- and privately planned events, including concerts, festivals, races, food truck events, and more.
"Events are an important part of community-building in Suwanee," says Events Manager Amy Doherty. "Each year, we love partnering with community organizations to bring great music, fun events, and unique engagement opportunities to our residents and others."
City Seeks Artists for Fifth Installation of SculpTour
Suwanee's Public Arts Commission has issued a Call to Artists/Request for Proposals (RFP) for original outdoor sculptures to be featured in the 2017-2019 Suwanee SculpTour. Depending upon available funding – all support is provided through private individuals and companies – 10-20 sculptures of various styles, types, and sizes will be exhibited throughout downtown Suwanee this summer.
"The City of Suwanee values public art as a key component to creating a world-class community," says Denise Brinson, economic and community development director. "The SculpTour provides a relatively low-cost way to bring quality public art of various styles and mediums to our community. Our hope is that the art pieces will engage our citizens and bring new visitors to downtown Suwanee."
Artwork selected will essentially be on loan to the City throughout the SculpTour, scheduled for May 2017-March 2019, with the possibility at the end of the exhibit, again depending upon funding, that the City will purchase one or more of the pieces for display in one of Suwanee's public spaces. Click here to download the RFP.
Snap Suwanee Photo Contest
Snap – and share – your photos of the Suwanee community through the City's annual Snap Suwanee photo competition. Click here for guidelines and applications. Each photographer may submit up to five photos; the deadline for submissions is December 31.
Photos submitted to the competition should represent the Suwanee community in some way and ideally be taken within the City of Suwanee limits. Winning photographs will be exhibited, beginning in March 2017, for an approximately one-year period at City Hall.
The dozen winning photos from the 2016 competition are currently on display on the first-floor lobby of City Hall and may be viewed from 8 am-5 pm weekdays.
Police Earn Re-Accreditation with Excellence
The Suwanee Police Department recently attained re-accreditation with excellence from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Police Chief Mike Jones and other agency representatives were awarded the agency's re-accreditation at the CALEA conference in Charleston, SC on November 5, 2016.
CALEA assessors spent several days evaluating the department in June, examining all aspects of Suwanee Police policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services. Verification by an outside assessment team is part of a voluntary process, confirming that the Suwanee Police Department meets the CALEA commission's state-of-the-art standards. Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of public safety professional excellence.
"I am extremely proud for the department to be re-accredited with excellence by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies," said Chief Mike Jones. "CALEA accreditation represents a significant professional achievement and is confirmation that the Suwanee Police Department practices are consistent with progressive professional standards. This accreditation validates the high standards we hold our personnel to and is aligned with national guidelines."
City of Suwanee Launches Open Budget Website
In an effort to provide complete and clear financial information, the City of Suwanee has launched its open data budget website, ensuring that city financial data is easily accessible and understandable for citizens. Rather than wading through hundreds of pages of scanned documents of legal and financial information, citizens and staff see financial data contextualized in charts, graphs, and images are attractive, navigable, and easy to understand.
"We're big believers in authenticity and transparency in government, and that certainly includes our financials. Our citizens should be able to easily access and understand our spending. At its most simplified, this is the taxpayers' money, and it's their right to know that we are being fiscally responsible for their dollars," said Amie Sakmar, Suwanee's Director of Finance. "The open data website is incredibly intuitive, and allows citizens to dig as far as their interests take them."
This program brings life to the City's static citizen operating budget: it makes the numbers interactive and shows the annual progress of collections and expenditures. Prior, the City would produce the budget in brief but the document and numbers where not updated as reviewable presentation for citizens to easily review and understand. This system provides the transparency of how the budget is performing on an ongoing basis, not just a snapshot of a moment in time. Visit budget.suwanee.com to explore the open budget.
Suwanee Launches County's First Bike Share Program
An exciting new transportation option has come to Gwinnett County! The City of Suwanee unveiled its new bike share program on Saturday, October 22 at the Alive! Festival in Town Center Park.
Sponsored by CIGNA and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, bike station structures – equipped with self-sustaining internal energy sources – have been installed at Suwanee Creek Park and Town Center Park and will each house up to eight bikes. The bikes may be rented for up to three hours for free, with each additional hour costing $3 per hour. The maximum fee for all day use of a bike is $30. All riders must be at least 18 years old and provide their own helmets. Bikes can be easily rented via smart phone app.
Bikes can be ridden anywhere, including on the City's extensive greenway system. A large part of the Downtown Suwanee Master Plan, the city features over 16 miles of interconnected multi-use, multi-medium trails.
Please visit zagster.com/suwanee for answers to questions such as usage, fees, station location, etc.
City Council Approves New Park Master Plan
The Suwanee City Council unanimously approved a master plan for a future city park at their September 27 meeting. The approximately 25-acre site will be situated behind the Suwanee library and PlayTown Suwanee and feature a mixture of urban and rural environments, including:
- A 900-foot, elevated signature bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use, spanning the entire park and crossing an approximately one-acre water feature,
- An open terrace plaza and lawn area at the peak of the park's elevation that will include several small-scale micro-business sites serving park patrons,
- An extension of the existing Playtown Suwanee geared toward older children,
- Sandpit volleyball courts, and
- An iconic public art piece.
The biggest change this area will see is the realignment of Main Street, which will shift around the park and exit onto Suwanee Dam Road at an existing traffic signal, greatly improving the safety and traffic flow by allowing the median break on Suwanee Dam Road to be closed. The anticipated cost associated with the future park is roughly $12 million; a timetable for construction has not been established.
Winter Farmers Market
Rejoice, localvores — Suwanee is extending the Farmers Market through the winter months! The Farmers Market will continue on the second Saturday of the month from 9-11 a.m. from November through April at Town Center Park. Stop by and enjoy fresh local winter produce, such as lettuces, greens, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, baked goods, and a variety of other delicious, local flavors.
Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Harvest Farm Plots
The City of Suwanee is now accepting applications for plots at Suwanee's Harvest Farm organic community garden are now being accepted for 2017 (their 7th growing season!).
Garden plots are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis with priority given to City residents, property owners, and taxpayers as well as returning gardeners. Plots are available in three different sizes, with the annual fee ranging from $50-$100. City of Suwanee residents/taxpayers receive a 25 percent discount. Annual fees include use of a raised bed, utilities, basic community tools, social and educational events, and, when available, compost. Gardeners incur personal expenses for items such as seeds, plants, amendments, stakes, and trellises