Evermore CID providing encouragement
for Highway 78 area
Director, Evermore Community Improvement District
SNELLVILLE, Ga., Dec. 5, 2008 -- For the past several years, the
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, led by Chairman Charles
Bannister's focus on revitalization, has provided leadership to
encourage investment in older areas of the county. The Evermore
CID works closely with the county as well as other local, state,
and federal partners to implement this vision for a safe, vibrant
corridor along U.S. Highway 78 from Stone Mountain to Snellville.
The CID is actively investing in each section. As an example, Park
Place is looking better than ever with a substantial transportation
and economic development initiatives.
Although Georgia DOT and C.W. Matthews Contractors completed section
one of the U.S. Highway 78 median and safety improvement project
in July of this year, there are notable Evermore project enhancements
still to come. Decorative mast arms, illuminated street signs, pedestrian
lighting, sidewalks, and inter-parcel access improvements will follow
road construction in sidewalk project near completion.
A strategic component of Evermore's plan for increased mobility
and business access are inter-parcel access streets that connect
neighboring properties. The most recently completed inter-parcel
access project is a thoroughfare connecting the Home Depot and Publix
retail centers near Killian Hill Road and U.S. Highway 78. Evermore
CID Project Manager Larry Kaiser says that he is "exceptionally
pleased that the property owners worked so diligently together to
complete this important inter-parcel access project and we are looking
forward to many more inter-parcel access projects and the benefits
they provide to businesses and motorists throughout the Evermore
With several community studies completed by the Evermore CID and
various professional planning firms, the Evermore CID's Board of
Directors is well-equipped to pinpoint the top five catalyst sites
that would benefit from revitalization.
As defined by the Park Place Activity Center Study completed last
year, catalyst sites include the former Cub Foods and vacant Kroger
properties as well as adjacent parcels within the Stone Mountain
Square area. The Board also ranked the properties surrounding the
proposed Solid Rock medical development (near the Yellow River Game
Ranch) within the top five, as well as Easy Street and West Side
Court properties near Highpoint Road that were defined in the LCI
study completed in 2004.
Dr. Alfie Meek, director of Forecasting, Gwinnett County Economic
and Development Division, says, "Investing in the economic
vitality of our community is a basic quality of life issue and it
gives me great pleasure to present a 2008 Revitalization grant to
the Evermore CID."
The Evermore CID will provide matching grant funds and expand on
work currently underway for the business district to complete a
redevelopment plan for the U.S. Highway 78 corridor. Upon approval
by Gwinnett County, the Evermore CID, Bleakly Advisory Group and
planning firm JJ&G will prepare detailed plans and analysis
for the five target revitalization sites to attract private investment.
Recently hired Economic Development Manager David Stedman will then
market the sites to recruit high quality, private investment to
Additional information is available at www.EvermoreCID.org.
Finding good barbecue turns out to be closer
Editor and Publisher
DEC. 5, 2008 -- Finding good barbecue, to a discerning palate,
is not always easy. I've not been pleased with barbecue around Gwinnett,
but now have found a great place close to home.
It's up 141 at Johns Creek in Forsyth County, 0.7 miles past McGinnis
Ferry Road , called Lowcountry
Barbecue. Their pulled pork is the best from several angles
(taste, texture, preparation, perfectly-pulled) we have run across
anywhere around here. It's their second location, Lowcountry having
been located in Smyrna as a catering firm for years. This is their
first restaurant location. Though we had known them primarily before
for catering dinners, now they have a nearby retail outlet that
(They also have other dishes, including pulled chicken barbecue,
and pulled beef barbecue. What respecting Southerner would even
want to try that pulled beef is beyond me. Just having it on the
menu is a testament to how many Westerners have moved in. Used to
be the closest you could find beef barbecue on the menu was in Memphis.
To our likes, the question is "Why bother?")
Lowcountry Barbecue was the idea of Bennett Brown III some 20 years
ago. Brown got a standard loan (eight per cent interest) from his
father, who many will remember as Bennett Brown Jr., the head of
the former C&S Bank in Atlanta, and a powerful figure in Atlanta
financial circles. We wondered for years why the younger Brown would
go into the catering and barbecue business, and now find it's a
We learned recently at the Lowcountry Barbecue that Bennett's folks
were in the barbecue business in South Carolina, originally at Kingstree,
one of the centers of low-country style barbecue. (Today there is
a Brown's Barbecue in Charleston, S.C., though not family related.)
So you might say the Atlanta wing of the Browns is continuing in
a family tradition.
We were at Lowcountry Barbecue to pick up a smoked turkey breast
for Thanksgiving. (That turned out to be a good purchase, too, and
the right amount.) Seeing the mouth-watering menu on the wall, and
spying the pulled pork, since it was near lunch, trying out the
barbecue was the decision.
My son was with me, who fancies himself as something of a cook,
and who has also tried his share of barbecue, and knows good from
bad pork. Both of us were immediately won over time we bit into
Let me describe the sandwich: on an oversize bun to begin with,
and the pulled pork isn't hidden inside the bread. Indeed, the pulled
pork is sticking out all around the edge of the sandwich. They don't
scrimp on you. It was at least one-third if not one half pound of
And it comes to you right: without sauce. They expect you to take
your pick of the table sauces, one based on tomato, the other on
vinegar, and apply to your taste. Yet the way the pork has been
cooked and pulled, you already have a terrific texture and taste.
You need only to add a little sauce, and you are in a barbecue taster's
Can you tell we liked it? We grinning since we have found a good
barbecue source close to Gwinnett. It's at 3445 Peachtree Parkway
(Highway 141) in Forsyth County, though it carries a Suwanee address,
it considers itself in Johns Creek. Phone: 678-688-7678.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) Georgia's newest medical college,
is now in its fourth year. Students who began the program in 2005
will receive their medical degrees May 17, 2009. The evening certificate
and master's degree biomedical sciences program continues to attract
talented graduate students. The medical degree program combines
the course load of medical school with added emphasis on the relationship
between the body's structure and its function. PCOM has also partnered
with Brenau University to offer a five year Physician's Assistant
degree. Call 678-225-7532 for additional information. More: Visit
our Web site.
about selection of new garbage-hauling firms
Editor, the Forum:
While the switch to one trash collector per neighborhood may sound
like a great idea in the interest of the 'environment," lost
in translation is the county's shutting down at least one perfectly
well functioning and reliable business and putting over 40 people
out of work because another firm got the contract out from under
I have had the same firm collecting my trash for over 10 years.
I have never had a problem with them, and their charges are about
the same as the new prices for the new firm. Now they are out of
business. Allowing two trucks per neighborhood is a small price
to play for the freedom that most businesses in the country have.
But I guess freedom to operate a business does not matter to Gwinnett
This is one more freedom taken away from us and given to government.
Oh, and another thing. The county should reimburse taxpayers for
the 'deactivation fee' homeowners are now being charged because
the county cancelled the waste hauler's contract.
-- Jim Nelems, Norcross
Dear Jim: I do not believe you have all the information
on garbage hauling. All companies currently providing services
have a one-year contract at time, and all signed letters state
that this is their agreement. They have no long term contract.
It's an intricate operation to choose new haulers,
at the best price. It's far more complex than it seems, but from
what I have learned, the selection was fair to all. -eeb
to raise level of historic Freeman's Grist Mill
Gwinnett commissioners on Tuesday approved a contract for the first
phase of a new park near Lawrenceville, Freeman's Mill Park.
A gristmill on the 12-acre site off Alcovy Road used to grind grain
as recently as 1986 will be raised some five feet to get it above
the current regulated flood plain. Construction will include a new
foundation and retaining wall, refurbishing the water wheel and
windows, and adding a new roof, siding and doors. The $434,324 contract
was awarded to Hogan Construction Group LLC.
Community Services Director Phil Hoskins says: "It is a superb
example of a typical rural gristmill found along rivers throughout
Georgia in the mid-19th century."
The mill was built on the Alcovy River between 1868 and 1879 by
brothers John Griffin and Levi J. Loveless and was one of 1,262
water-powered mills in the state at the time. By 1996, it was said
to be one of only 15 mills in the state in working order and the
only one in Gwinnett County. At that time it was placed on the National
Register of Historic Places for its significance in architecture,
engineering, industry and social history.
After the Loveless brothers ran the mill, W. Scott Freeman and his
son, Winfield, owned it until it was purchased in 1915 by Newt Pharr,
who owned five other mills in the county. Newt's great grandson,
Lewis Swann, purchased the mill in 1946 and it remained in his family
until the County bought the mill and surrounding property in 2001.
Phase Two of Freeman's Mill Park will be awarded by a separate contract
early next year. It will feature a playground, picnic pavilion,
half-mile multi-purpose trail, parking and restroom facilities.
Funding for both phases comes from the 2005 SPLOST. The County bought
the land and mill in 2001 through the Georgia Greenspace program.
Georgia Trust to spotlight
Fort Daniel archaeological site
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will spotlight the
Fort Daniel site on December 8 at 7 p. m. The event will be
held in Fort Daniel Elementary School. The school is in the shadow
of the old fort site.
Daniel archaeological site near Buford
Built in the late 18th century, the archaeological site of Fort
Daniel was once a frontier fort located at Hog Mountain in Gwinnett
County. Archaeological excavations are being supervised by the Gwinnett
Archaeological Research Society. Excavations revealed a stockade
wall trench, a hearth where cooking and casting of shot was carried
out, brick and burned lumber and a trash pit.
Artifacts recovered from the site include historic pottery, black
bottle glass, musket balls, musket flint, wrought nails and an 18th-century
Spanish coin. The site is located on privately owned property. The
property and its surrounding lots are for sale. A developer has
already sought a zoning change to allow commercial development of
the properties. Development of the property would destroy this significant
archaeological site. The Georgia Trust along with the Friends of
Fort Daniel will present information about protecting and preserving
You can learn more about the archaeological remains of this late
18th century frontier fort and find out how you can help save it.
For more information, contact Jordan Poole at 706-506-9864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Club plans
potluck dinner for Yule on Dec. 11
The Greater Gwinnett Group of the Sierra Club will have its annual
celebration of the holidays with a potluck dinner. It will be held
this year on December 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Art Sheldon's home, 3036
Oak Hampton Court, Duluth.
This is located off Georgia Highway120 approximately 1.5 miles
west of I-85. Call Art for directions if needed at 678-793-2300
or at email@example.com.
Bring a dish to share.
county operating budget up 6.3 percent for 2009
The proposed operating budget for Gwinnett County for 2009 of $919
million is up 6.3 percent over 2008 and would add 125 new positions,
down from 128 last year. The increase in cost is primarily due to
the new positions, which are designated to staff new facilities
and maintain law and order.
Chairman Charles Bannister sent it this week to the board of commissioners.
Fire and Emergency Services is slated to get 75 new positions to
staff two new fire stations (Numbers 29 and 30), a new ladder truck
and a medic unit. Police would add 30 new positions, including one
for the Emergency 911 call center. Parks and Recreation would get
two new positions for the maintenance of three new park sites scheduled
to open during 2009 --- Settles Bridge Park, the Isaac Adair House
and Freeman's Mill Park.
The proposed capital budget of $503.1 compares to a 2008 reconciled
budget of $774.2 million, a 35 percent decrease. Projects include
replacement of the HVAC system in the Gwinnett Justice and Administration
Center, computer upgrades, completion of the Yellow River Sewage
Treatment Plant upgrade, and continuing the extension of Sugarloaf
Parkway. The long-range plan for 2010-2014 calls for spending of
The proposed budget does not currently include any results from
an internal cost analysis (termed the SVR project) being performed
by the County Administrator. The results of this analysis are in
the final stages of review and will be discussed with the Board
in the upcoming weeks. Chairman Bannister noted that "the initial
outcome from SVR included the decommissioning of a wastewater facility
and the restructuring in Planning and Development. While some aspects
will be painful, this is something we need to do for addressing
the budget gap and setting the long term fiscal well-being of this
County Administrator Jock Connell, who worked alongside Chairman
Bannister and two citizen representatives, Wayne Sikes and Sam Brownlee,
in supervising the development of the budget, explained that "We
intend to bring the SVR results and the proposed budget forward
on parallel tracks. These two major initiatives need to be viewed
together. Once we have the Board's direction on both, we will combine
these into the 2009 financial plan for county government."
The budget will be presented at a public hearing on Dec. 11 at the
Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center at 7 p.m. and is slated
for adoption by the Board on Jan. 6, 2009.
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
Howard Coffin early
pioneer in automobile industry
A successful pioneer in the automobile industry, Howard
Coffin rebuilt an abandoned antebellum mansion on Sapelo Island
and revitalized the agricultural potential on it, developed St.
Simons Island and Sea Island as Georgia's premier coastal tourist
destinations, and provided seed money for the mighty pulpwood industry
that continues to thrive in the state's Coastal Plain.
Born in 1873, Howard Earle Coffin grew up on an Ohio farm and in
Ann Arbor, Mich., where he studied engineering at the University
of Michigan. It was there that he constructed his first automobile.
It was steam-powered, and he used it to deliver the mail around
town. He also made use of the university's engineering shop in 1898-99
to build his first internal combustion engine. In 1902 the Oldsmobile
Company hired him as chief experimental engineer. By 1905 Coffin
was Oldsmobile's chief engineer. Later he worked for the E. R. Thomas-Detroit
Motor Car Company, the Chalmers-Detroit Motor Company, and the Hudson
Motor Car Company, serving as vice president and chief engineer
of each and designing many of their early models.
Coffin is known in automotive circles as the father of Standardization,
a result of his initiative in standardizing material and design
specifications and in arranging for automobile manufacturers to
share their patents. These accomplishments enabled the American
automobile industry to grow quickly.
Coffin led the 1916 preparedness campaign for World War I, including
an inventory of the nation's industrial capacity, something that
had never been attempted before. When the United States entered
the war, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson named Coffin to the Council
of National Defense, which served as the country's unofficial war
cabinet. Coffin's job was aircraft production. Through his leadership
the U.S. Army Air Service ultimately became a significant arm of
the military. He also led in building the revolutionary Liberty
After the war Coffin helped launch the nation's commercial aviation
program. He helped found and served as board chairman of the National
Air Transport Company, a forerunner of United Airlines. In 1925
he served on the Morrow Board, which President Calvin Coolidge named
to investigate and make recommendations regarding the federal government's
role in air safety and in creating an air defense system. The board's
recommendations established the principle of federal regulation
of civilian flying, a vital step toward a federal air law.
(More in December 9 edition.)
Watch it when you extend
yourself too far one way
"You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too
-- New Yorker Cartoonist and Author of "The Secret Life
of Walter Mitty," James Thurber (1894-1961).
Send your thoughts, 55-word short stories, pet peeves
or comments on any issue to Gwinnett
Forum for future publication.
MORE: Contact Gwinnett Forum at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2008, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum
is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible
social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett
County, Ga. USA.