Board Member Spotlight: Jim Vaught
LCID Board Chair Jim Vaught is the Head Master Emeritus and founder of Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, Georgia. After running the school for 25 years, Jim stepped down as headmaster in 2016, receiving the honorary Emeritus title while still being highly active with the school in the advancement and fundraising department.
Jim’s academic management background combined with his former military experience contributed to his natural leadership skills on the LCID board of directors. A board member since the community improvement district’s creation in 2010 and board chair the past two years, he attributes his success to effective communication and to the relationships he’s built over the years. Respect, trust and communication are what Jim considers critical in creating and maintaining relationships with board members, business owners, property owners and government officials.
Jim looks forward to continuing to work with Gwinnett County to address concerns surrounding Atlanta’s traffic issues that expand beyond the city limits outside of I-285. Jim felt the County did a good job trying to coordinate the MARTA expansion, but he also feels that a more organized plan is needed in order to enhance transportation within the district.
Although Jim is semi-retired, he appreciates being a part of the CID which has allowed him to contribute to the community and learn more about the inner workings of the City and other governmental organizations.
Anand Mehta is the BAPS Charities board vice president and has been a part of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir public relations team for more than 20 years. Anand joins the LCID as a Gwinnett County representative and official board member after two years as a non-voting member and board secretary.
No stranger to nonprofit work and board duties, Anand is the retired CFO of the Boys and Girls Club of America and on the University of Central Missouri Foundation board and serves as the chair of the audit committee.
With the Mandir being such a significant landmark in Lilburn, Anand felt it was his obligation to represent the Hindi population in the community as well as work with City and County officials on the development of the surrounding area, which led to his work with LCID.
It is Anand’s hope that his contribution as an LCID board member will lead to a safer and more comfortable place to live and do business, thereby attracting more businesses, single family dwellings and new construction to the district.
A Mandir is a sacred temple where Hindus visit to worship Hindu gods and deities in various forms. The Lilburn BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is one of the major cultural landmarks and visitor attractions in the southeast. The Lilburn location is one of only six Mandirs in the United States. Completed in 2007, the intricate hand-carved Turkish limestone, Italian marble and Indian pink sandstone structure was shipped piece by piece from India and took more than one million volunteer-hours to construct. More than 34,000 segments were pieced together like a giant 3D puzzle in just 17 months.
The Mandir is open and free to the public to tour and observe ceremonies while learning about Hinduism. Multi-lingual audio guides are available in the gift shop for those interested in learning and exploring the Mandir at their own pace. Guided group tours are also available with advanced reservations for groups of 10 or more.
In cooperation with the Mandir’s leadership, the City of Lilburn and Gwinnett County, LCID completed a master planning effort to set new standards for development around the Mandir that include restaurants, retail, residential and commercial redevelopment in a village concept that highlights the uniqueness and beauty of the temple.
Next steps in the planning effort include pedestrian-focused infrastructure improvements, which could be funded by local sales tax, as well as the work of private developers assembling property for redevelopment.
Gwinnett Transportation – Vote in 2020
Gwinnett County officials are regrouping to devise a new plan that could extend MARTA into the County. The original proposal was rejected by voters in the tight March 19 special election.
The population in Lilburn and Gwinnett County is growing significantly, but businesses are looking to other locations because of the lack of public transit. The new plan may possibly focus more on bus rapid transit. Officials are hoping to revamp the proposal in time to place it on the 2020 ballot. More information can be found in this Atlanta Business Chronicle article.
Lilburn City Hall Room Dedication
The late former Lilburn Mayor Diana Preston left an enormous mark on the city during her official mayoral term, councilperson term and throughout her life of community service. She was instrumental in the creation of Camp Creek Greenway Trail, Lilburn Community Partnership, Lilburn CID, as well as leading the rededication of the Lilburn City Park and Lilburn Centennial Celebration.
Diana Preston’s legacy will now live on in Lilburn City Hall following the August dedication of The Preston room in her honor — in the building that she initiated talks to build as a joint City Hall and Library. Read more about Diana Preston and the room dedication in this Gwinnett Daily Post article.
LCID recently distributed bid packages for mowing and landscaping services package for Jackson Creek Trail and other areas within the district. A selection is expected to be made in early October.
More information and answers to frequently asked questions from bidders can be found on the LCID website.
CID Project Updates
Pleasant Hill Small Area Study
LCID conducted a Pleasant Hill Road Small Area Plan Study in 2018 to investigate possible transportation and land use improvements for the corridor between US-29 and Cruse Road.
Several recommended projects in the report have been presented to the City and Gwinnett County for further study and design. These include extension of existing sidewalk on Pleasant Hill Road under the Ronald Reagan Parkway off ramp and crossing over the on ramp with a pedestrian safety improvement project. Another project includes a bus pull-off on Pleasant Hill Road in front of Plaza Las Americas.
Freight Mobility Cluster Grant
A cooperative agreement was developed between the LCID and the Tucker Summit CID to allow LCID to participate in the Freight Cluster Grant that was awarded to TSCID in 2018. LCID has several freight and warehouse commercial areas that could benefit from identifying their freight mobility needs, which could result in federal funds for transportation improvements.
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