Buford commission honors city marshal, approves new car dealership

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

“I love it,” Ethridge said of his two decades of work. “I worked 21 years and six months at Phillips State Prison, then I came here, and it saved my life,” he continued with a smile.

The commission also voted to approve a number of small business special use permits to allow repair and painting of boats and automobiles at various locations around the city.

Commissioners also voted to allow the sale and servicing of automobiles on land at the corner of Ga. Highway 20 and Plunketts Road with the goal of building a new Jim Ellis Porsche dealership.

The commission, however, denied a special use permit to Sass Group IV, which had applied for a permit to build a tobacco and vape store on Buford Drive.

“No vape shop,” Chairman Phillip Beard said as the commission rejected at least the second application from such a company in 2022.

Then the commissioners voted to annex four Gwinnett County homes into the town of Buford at the request of the residents.

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

Two other public hearings on this issue will take place at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, August 1.

The same opportunity was then offered to anyone with questions about the 2023 operating budget, but no one asked questions or concerns.

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

The commissioners also authorized several payments for renovations to various facilities at Buford town schools in addition to approving a low bid for Southern Pipeline to supply natural gas to the town through the end of 2022.

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

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

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