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Buford commission approves budget

BUFORD - Following public hearings here Monday night, the Buford City Commission approved a $105.5 million operating budget for fiscal year 2009, and in the process, reduced its 2008 property tax millage rate by one-tenth.

"Most of the budgets are put together through prior years experience, and it's a good measure to grow by," Chairman Phillip Beard said. "However, we're dealing with an unknown this year, but hopefully we're in control enough so it should be an accurate reflection of our expenditures."

The operating budget calls for revenues of $105,527,209, expenses of $104,170,655, making for a surplus of $1,356,554.

The millage rate for 2008 was set by the Commission at 13.25, a decrease from the previous year's rate of 13.35. According to Beard, the millage rate has steadily gone down each year from a rate of 20 mills about 20 years ago.

"We have the cheapest taxes in north Georgia, if not the state," he said.

In other business, the Commission:

· Approved the City of Buford's rezoning request of property on Sawnee Avenue from R-100 to P for the purpose of using it for a new city administrative facility.

· Authorized Chairman Beard to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Gwinnett County for distribution of 2008 SPLOST funding.

· Approved the 2008-09 health/dental insurance renewal for city employees.

· Authorized the Walton County delivery point improvements at the Transco Meter Station.

· Adopted the City of Auburn Natural Gas Franchise Agreement.

· Approved the Transportation Enhancement Agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

· Approved a special-use permit from Biker Brands, 4560 Atwater Court, Suite No. 103, to allow a motorcycle repair service.

· Denied a special-use permit request from Dan Haynes of Traffic Jams, 2685 Buford Highway, Suite 100, for a car stereo installation/window tinting/wheel sales and installation.

· Denied a special-use permit request from Shadil Group Inc., 393 Ga. Highway 20, to allow check cashing at this facility.

· Changed next month's Commission meeting to 4 p.m. Sept. 2 because of the Labor Day holiday.