The Buford City Commission met Monday, March 7, and recognized Andy Puckett and Jane Hunter for their 20 years of service to the city of Buford.
Puckett currently works as the supervisor of water and sewage in the city, helping to ensure Buford’s water is clean and safe and that stormwater is properly handled.
Hunter serves as the director of tennis for Buford City Park, teaching the sport as well as organizing tournaments and events.
“It’s amazing it went that fast,” Hunter said. “I’m teaching young children of mothers that I had … I’ve had three generations of people.”
Puckett and Hunter both received a plaque in recognition of their longtime service, as well as a watch.
Next, the commission moved on to its public hearings portion and voted on a special use permit for a parcel of land on South Lee Street to allow condominiums to be constructed within an industrial development. After ensuring the conditions for the permit included the formation of a property owners association as well as adhering to the aesthetic standards of the area, the permit was unanimously approved.
The commission also approved a zoning modification for a minor easement adjustment in a development on Elliot Street and South Street.
Following the public hearing, the commission proceeded to vote on a number of items, most of which related to acquiring the land for the new Buford sports stadium through either purchase or eminent domain. This raised a number of questions from residents, particularly those concerned about the relocation of low-income families who would be forced to move as a result of some of the land being repurposed.
“The housing authority is going to be doing about 18 units, they’re going to be a craftsman style, so they’ll be really, really nice,” said Kevin Jones, executive director of the Buford Housing Authority. “And so folks that are currently residing in that community at Forest Street are going to basically be moving one or two parcels over.”
“The rent’s not going to change,” commission Chairman Phillip Beard added. “We’re going to relocate every family over there into a new home, a modern home.”
Some residents also raised concerns about poor water pressure at their homes in the New Street and Forest Street area, and Beard assured them the city’s water services would get with them to evaluate the problem.
City Manager Bryan Kerlin gave his monthly report, providing updates on numerous city projects.
Kerlin said Buford did not receive any money under the American Rescue Plan Act despite his understanding that the state would distribute funds and ensure everyone got a piece. He said the city would follow up with the state to see if they can receive additional funds later.
Kerlin also provided updates on the Buford community center, a grant the city received to build a greenway trail and the expansion of the Buford Waterworks.
At the end of the meeting, Clarence Pace, son of the late Stanley Pace who passed away in January 2021, asked about the possibility of changing the name of the street his father lived on for more than 20 years to be named after Stanley.
Beard said that while changing a street name can be difficult and complicated for many residents, he would see what could be done in regard to naming a new street in Stanley Pace’s honor.
FEATURED PHOTO: The Buford City Commission recognizes Jane Hunter, left, and Andy Puckett, right, for their 20 years of service to the city during the commission’s monthly meeting on Monday, March 7, 2022. Commission Chairman Phillip Beard is pictured at center. Photo by Chris Bellows.