Voters back civic center for Buford

BUFORD -- Funding for a city civic center in Buford has been lined up, thanks to voters Tuesday.

A referendum to allow bond sales to fund the $10 million project passed 356 to 68 in a special election.

"In this economy, that's great," City Commission Chairman Phillip Beard said. "There was a lot of trust shown of the elected officials."

Beard said the city has the money to pay for the center, which is under construction next to City Hall on Buford Highway. But officials hoped to borrow the money out of an abundance of caution, he said.

While the bond issue is for two decades, he said the city will likely pay it off in two to three years.

"Virtually everyone is excited about getting a facility for multi-use," Beard said of the landmark, which will be open to residents for small events like birthday parties and even large banquets. "It's going to add to our plans for our town center and City Hall too."

Beard had one complaint about Tuesday's special election. Voters had to pick up their primary ballots at various polling locations in Buford then go to City Hall to vote on the local issue.

Instead, he would like for county officials to handle city elections, compiling the ballots. County officials have said the possibility is too complicated because of city boundaries.

"The elections need to be voter-friendly," Beard said. "It's hard enough to get people to participate."