Sandy Springs City Council members and city staff on January 9 heard City Manager John F. McDonough highlight the accomplishments of the city’s first year of operation in 2006 and look ahead to what he foresees the city accomplishing in the first quarter of 2007.

In addition to two of the most visible accomplishments—the launching of the city’s own police department July 1 with 86 sworn officers and the beginning of operations this past December of the 91-member Fire Rescue Department—McDonough pointed to a long list of accomplishments which he characterized as “very impressive” for the city’s first year.

Among the first-year highlights pointed out by the city manager were:

The city’s Citizen Response Center took and responded to 70,000 calls.

The Community Development Department reduced permitting backlog from eight weeks to two weeks, worked off the county backlog within two months and now offers some next day inspections. It also issued 2,500-plus notices of code violations and issued 340-plus citations.

More than 5,000 signs that were littering rights-of-way were removed and more than 2,900 sign permit applications were reviewed.

Sandy Springs Municipal Court was operational within 90 days of the city’s start-up, more than 17,000 total tickets were processed, a Traffic Violations Bureau was established, a third judge was hired to improve efficiency and an environmental court was established.

The Public Works Department poured more than 1,750 tons of asphalt to repair city streets and striped more than 26 miles of roadway.

Public Works also completed more than 1,100 traffic signal work orders, updated video detection equipment at seven intersections and installed new trash receptacles and sign toppers throughout the city.

The city worked with Emory Hospital on a state-of-the-art EMS program to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Two fire stations were purchased and two leased and new fire equipment was delivered.

The city established a Capital Improvement Program for transportation improvements with 26 projects in the works and $105 million in funded projects.

Planning and Zoning has updated the 2025 long-range land use plan, established 24/7 emergency contacts for environmental complaints and conducted erosion and sediment training and certification for all field staff.

Community Development is managing development of the city’s first Comprehensive Plan, has completed drafting a new tree ordinance, which is presently under review, and has responded to 90 percent of code enforcement complaints and service requests within 48 hours.

Council members also hosted more than 10 evening Town Hall meetings for constituents.

Looking ahead to the early months of this year, McDonough told council members that a review of Municipal Court operations and storm water drainage policy recommendations was on the agenda for February, followed by long-range facility recommendations and a fiscal year 2008 budget planning workshop in March. In April, the city manager said there would be recommendations forthcoming for transportation and park improvements.