The Buford Board of Commissioners met Monday, July 18, and recognized City Marshal Jerry Ethridge for 20 years of dedicated service to the community.

“I love it,” Ethridge said of his two decades on the job. “I did 21 years and six months working at Phillips State Prison, and then I came over here, and it was a life saver,” he continued with a smile.

The commission also voted to approve a number of special use permits for small businesses to allow for boat and automotive repair and painting in various locations throughout the city.

Commissioners also voted to allow for automotive sales and service at a lot on the corner of Ga. Highway 20 and Plunketts Road for the purpose of constructing a new Jim Ellis Porsche dealership.

The commission did, however, deny a special use permit to Sass Group IV, which had requested a permit to build a tobacco and vape store on Buford Drive.

“No vape shop,” Chairman Phillip Beard said as the commission voted down at least the second request for a business of this type in 2022.

Next, commissioners voted in favor of annexing four homes from Gwinnett County into the city of Buford at the request of the residents.

The commission also held the first of three required public hearings for residents to discuss and ask questions about the 2022 property tax millage rate rollback and proposed tax increase for Gwinnett and Hall counties.

Two more public hearings on this matter will take place at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1.

The same opportunity was then presented for anyone with questions about the 2023 operating budget, but nobody spoke up with any questions or concerns.

After the public hearings were completed, the commission rapidly voted to approve a number of proposals, including the payment of Buford’s membership dues for the Georgia Municipal Association in the amount of $13,446.

Commissioners also authorized several payments for renovation of various Buford City Schools facilities in addition to approving a low bid for Southern Pipeline to provide natural gas to the city through the end of 2022.

During his report, City Manager Bryan Kerlin mentioned there has been one new case of COVID-19 in the city staff and they are still monitoring the situation and taking precautions.

The Buford City Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at the Buford City Arena at 2795 Sawnee Ave. For more information, click here.

FEATURED PHOTO: Buford Board of Commissioners Chairman Phillip Beard, left, congratulates City Marshal Jerry Ethridge for 20 years of service to the local community. Photo by Chris Bellows. 

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