September 8, 2020 — Commission Chairman Phillip Beard called the September meeting for the Buford Board of Commissioners to order at 7 p.m. at Buford City Arena. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the agenda and the meeting minutes from August 3 and August 10 meetings.

A rezoning request was tabled for Abdul Asaad for property located on Buford Highway.  Asaad requested that parcels 7-258-172/7-258-174 be rezoned from RM to C-2. Tim Hughes requested a special use permit to allow an automotive wheel repair and powder coating wheels at 5221 Palmero Court, Suites 100 and 2004. The special use permit was approved. Chestnut Development, LLC requested a special use permit to allow minor auto repair at 3720 and 3290 Gravel Springs Road.  The special use permit was approved.  Colin J. Evans requested a special use permit to allow auto maintenance at 4831 Bryant Road, Suite E.  The special use permit was approved.

3N Holdings, LLC requested that 2.380 acres located at 3663 Carter Road be annexed into the city limits with a zoning of RA-200.  There is an existing residential dwelling on the property and the applicant stated that they have no plans to subdivide to add additional dwellings.  The request was approved.  William R. Shepherd requested that 0.320 acres located at 5736 Shadburn Ferry Road be annexed into the city limits with a zoning of R-100.  There is one residential dwelling on the property with no plans to demolish or add additional dwellings. The request was approved.  Cameron Henderson requested that 1.58 acres located at 3264 Lee Drive be annexed into the city limits with a zoning of RA-200.  The applicant stated that there is an existing dwelling on the property and he plans on subdividing the property to build an additional dwelling.  The Commission set forth conditions for the additional dwelling.  After the applicant agreed, the request was approved.  Jessica Spinks requested that 1.08 acres located at 3653 Shoreland Drive be annexed into the city limits with a zoning of R-100.  There is an existing home on the property.  The request was approved.

The final plat for the Summerlyn Subdivision was approved.  The Commission held a public hearing for the city’s Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget. The estimated revenue to be taken in by the city for 2021 is $163,031,795.00 while their expenditures are budgeted at $157,326,469.00.  That leaves a surplus of $5,705,326.00.  The Commission will have a final public hear on the millage rate and budget in the October 5, 2020, Commission meeting and will consider adoption.

The Commission approved the city’s CARES Act expenditures which were submitted to Gwinnett County for their approval.  Gwinnett County requested that the property located at 2089 Buford Dam Road be exempt from being required to install curb, gutter, and sidewalks.  There is a new home being constructed at this address.  The exemption was approved.  A resolution was passed placing a hold on permitting for convenience stores with or without fuel pumps and automotive service stations with or without fuel pumps in anticipation of amending the City’s zoning ordinance in respect to such establishments.  This period runs until January 6, 2021, or until the date of the repeal of this Ordinance/Resolution, whichever event occurs first.

The City Manager and City Attorney were granted authorization to purchase property on Espy Street.  This property is located adjacent to Buford Housing Authority property.  Authorization was given to the City Manager to accept easement from Backstreet Buford, LLC in order to locate utilities.  The pledged funds were approved to be released to People’s Bank & Trust. ER Snell was the low bidder and was approved for the City of Buford 2020 LMIG paving project.  The state will contribute approximately $150,000 toward the project. 

Payments were approved by the Commission for the Church Street stormwater improvements, the Legion Fields improvements project, the Buford parking deck project, and the Southside Wastewater Plant Flow Diversion Structure.

City Manager Bryan Kerlin gave his report.  Phase three of the Legion Fields improvements project is ongoing.  Fields 1-4 are in use with Fall ball.  He briefed the attendees on the findings of Electric Utility System Study and the impacts of COVID-19 on consumption.  The study revealed the economic impact of the virus on electrical consumption.  When compared to 2019, consumption was down by 7.22% for the period of March 1, 2020, to September 1, 2020.

The new Buford Greenway located between Garnett and Harris streets is now open and that they will be installing informational signage in the near future.  The retention pond and streetscaping still needs to be wrapped up with the parking deck project.  The improvements to Jones Alley are mostly complete.  They are finalizing plans regarding the commercial dumpsters that occupy the alley.  The plans are to reduce the number of dumpsters, put them in enclosures and have them emptied daily to cut down on the eyesore and the smell for those utilizing the parking deck.

The City is finalizing its design plans for the new Waterworks expansion project.  The deceleration lane on Buford Highway and Robert Bell Parkway is slated to be expanded.  Conduit is being run on Main Street in anticipation of new security cameras being installed.  

Fall ball at the Legion Fields is underway, as is Alta’s fall season.  Youth football (GFL) is also in full swing with two games under their belts.

This ended the regular session of the Buford Commission Meeting.  Chairman Beard went around the arena to see if anyone had any further business to bring before the Commission.  The meeting was adjourned since no one had anything further to present.

The next meeting will be held on October 5, 2020, at 7 p.m. at the Buford City Arena.

— Staff Reports

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