June 7, 2021 — Commission chairman Phillip Beard called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. at the Buford Arena.  Following the pledge of allegiance, the agenda and the meeting minutes from the May 3, 2021, meeting were approved.  July’s meeting was voted to be changed to July 19, 2021, due to the Independence Day holiday falling the day before the meeting was originally scheduled for.

In the public hearing section of the meeting, the first piece of business was a rezoning request from the Paces Foundation asking that the property located at 2050 Garnett Street be rezoned from R-100 to RM-6. This is to allow for the relocation of units under the Buford Housing Authority’s control.  The request was approved.  The Paces Foundation also requested that property located at 490 South Street be rezoned from R-100 to RM-8 to allow for 45 units for the relocation of existing units with the Buford Housing Authority.  The request was approved.

A rezoning request from Seefried Industrial Properties for property located at 2715 Brown Road be rezoned from RA-200 to M-1 to allow for industrial development. The request was approved. A rezoning request was approved for Living Water Christian Church to rezone 1957 Buford Highway from C-2 to Public.

A special use permit was approved for Wilie McCoy to operate a gym training facility at 1364 Buford Business Boulevard, Suite 100.

Annexation and rezoning requests were approved for Donrob Investments, LP for 9.913 acres on Brown Road and 34.573 acres on Morgan Road.  Both parcels were rezoned to M-1 to allow for industrial use.

Jarrod and Rachel Lock requested annexation for property at 5450 Frazer Road.  The request was approved.  An annexation request by Peach State Family Homes, Inc. for 6181 Shoreland Circle was approved.

The Commission voted to accept quitclaim deeds from Olde Town Estates Homeowners Association, Inc. for sidewalk installation and other infrastructure improvements. The chairman was authorized to sign a quitclaim deed to the Downtown Development Authority for property located at Arnold Street and Forest Street. The city manager and city attorney were authorized to enter into an agreement to purchase property intended for the relocation of existing housing authority units in coordination with the planned construction of the new BHS stadium.

Site and building plans were approved for an addition to Flanigan Funeral Home located at 4400 S. Lee Street. The new city budget is not ready yet so the Commission authorized the city manager to continue operating under the fiscal year 2021 operating budget until the new one was ready and approved. Stacy Rolin and Bryan Kerlin were approved to be Buford’s election committee voting delegates for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia annual election.

The chairman was authorized to sign a cooperation agreement for Gwinnett County and Buford for the federal fiscal years 2022-2024 for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The Commission voted to adopt a resolution in support of modifying the Gwinnett County Speed Limit Ordinance on specific city streets.  The speed limit ordinance will match the posted limits on Railroad Avenue/Sugar Hill Road of 25 mph and 35 mph on South Waterworks Road and assign 25 mph to Pinetree Drive.

The Commission set the official qualifying dates for the November 2, 2021, general municipal election for August 16-18, 2021. Authorization was granted to give city employees premium pay to eligible essential employees and critical infrastructure workers who worked during the pandemic as authorized under the American Recovery Plan legislation

Pay requests were authorized for the legion fields improvements project, Tom Riden Stadium project and Bona Road sidewalk improvements project.

City Manager, Bryan Kerlin gave his update in which he stated that most of the COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted by Gov. Brian Kemp. He noted that electric consumption is up 7.3% for the same period last year which brings the demand close to pre-pandemic consumption. 

Todd Cleveland with the Buford Community Center said that they will begin operating at 100% capacity starting on June 15 but the fountains will remain closed for the time being. The BCC expects a good crowd for the June 12 performance by Marshall Charloff and the Purple Experience, a Prince Tribute.

The city is in the process of applying for grants and planning for a greenway trail that will run from the Harris Street greenspace across Buford Highway and along Suwanee Creek.  It will end at South Lee Street.  

The Buford Waterworks expansion project is expected to be underway starting next week.  The water and sewer departments are undergoing general maintenance and repair.  The electric and gas departments have numerous projects ongoing that are in various stages of completion.  The Bona Road sidewalk project – phase two is ongoing.

The artificial turf installation at Tom Riden Stadium is complete with the relocation of bleachers to the north end of the stadium ongoing.  The bleachers are being relocated from a practice field. The Legion Fields project is nearing completion.  Stadium seats for Field 7, the Championship Field, are scheduled to arrive later this month.

Over 300 kids are participating in Junior Tennis Camps this Summer.

With no further business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Beard adjourned the meeting. Next month’s meeting will be on July 19, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Buford Arena.  

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