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Buford sets up scholarship fund through nonprofit

BUFORD - Buford High School seniors will have access to a number of scholarships, thanks to a nonprofit entity set up by City Commissioners on Monday.

The entity will act as a nominal owner of the new building under construction at 2211 Beaver Ruin Road. It will house the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Family and Children's Services.

According to Phillip Beard, commission chairman, government entities can only sign a one-year contract to rent building space. However, the best rental rates are usually given on long-term agreements, putting DHR and DFCS at a financial disadvantage. Agency officials and the developer found a solution that eventually benefits Buford High School students.

Rather than using conventional financing, the developer is issuing certificates of participation, which are similar to bonds, to finance construction. The nonprofit entity Buford created will act as the nominal owner of the building. Buford will receive an accommodation fee of $150,000 for creating the nonprofit.

A few years ago, Buford did the same thing for the developer of the building that houses the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Labor. The city earned $150,000 at that time, too, for a total of $300,000.

Rather than putting that $300,000 into the general fund, Buford will create a perpetual scholarship fund. The interest from that fund will create scholarships for Buford High School seniors. The number of scholarships and their cash values were not available at press time.

Buford annexes

about 14 acres

Five tracts of land made their way from unincorporated Gwinnett and Hall counties into Buford's city limits. Buford's planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the annexations, and neither county voiced any objections.

Millard Bowen Communities annexed 6 acres on Frazier Road in Hall County. The acreage, owned by William Stark Jr., will be part of the Wildewood Subdivision. It will add seven homes and a recreation area to the approximately 100-home development. The development will hold a swimming pool, and homes will be priced in the $300,000 range.

Also annexed Monday:

1.3 acres at 5741 Shadburn Ferry Road in Gwinnett County owned by Frank and Jean King. The property will be divided into two lots, so the Kings and their son can build two houses on them.

3.7 acres at 3982 South Bogan Road in Gwinnett County owned by Melvin and Miriam Puckett. The property retains its residential zoning.

2.4 acres at 980 Gainesville Highway in Hall County owned by Joyce Cantrell. The property was rezoned from agricultural/residential to commercial for construction of an office /retail complex.

.4 acre at 979 Gainesville Highway owned by James Bagwell. The property retains its commercial zoning.

Two quitclaim deeds issued

Jackson Street appears on old city plats, but most of the street was incorporated into residential yards long ago. Buford officials will issue quitclaim deeds, giving portions of Jackson Street to the owners of those yards.

"This returns Jackson Street to the tax rolls," Beard said.

In a reverse action, Buford issued a quitclaim deed to protect its interest in a slice of land in the parking lot of People's Bank off Lee Street. The bit of city land was paved over during construction, Beard said.