First council meeting back

The Braselton Town Council met for the first time in-person on June 4 amid following months of teleconference meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors were seated six-feet apart throughout the meeting.

Braselton leaders recently gave the nod for an automobile express service business off Friendship Rd.

The Braselton Town Council unanimously approved a conditional use request for WDG-TNR Braselton, LLC, for a little over an acre at 2113 Friendship Rd.

Developers plan a high-end Valvoline Instant Oil Change on the property. Customers will drive into the lower part of the facility and won't leave their vehicles throughout the maintenance process.

The project could be complete by 2021.

CAR WASH DENIED

Meanwhile, the council voted 4-1 to deny a conditional use request for a car wash at the corner of Beaver Dam Rd. and Hwy. 211. Council member Becky Richardson opposed the denial.

Alex Roshan had planned a car wash on the corner of the 8.29-acre property. Other businesses are also planned on the site, including a restaurant and retail.

BUDGET HEARING

In other business, the council held a public hearing on its proposed General Fund budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Braselton's tentative General Fund budget calls for a 4.7 percent cut, from $5.95 million to $5.67 million.

No public spoke during the June 4 public hearing. The town council will hold a called meeting on Thursday, June 11, at 5 p.m. to vote on the proposed general fund budget.

Every city department is taking a spending hit, according to the proposed budget. The town's police department is slated to cut $100,000 from its spending, mostly in salaries. But town manager Jennifer Scott noted the town won’t lose police officers and officers won’t take a pay cut. The town plans to reduce overtime expenses, utilizing salaried employees instead of hourly employees when necessary.

Scott also noted there’s a 3-percent cost of living adjustment budgeted for town staff.

Braselton expects to see a decline in sales tax revenues of $50,000 in the coming year. It also anticipates a cut of $50,000 in hotel/motel taxes; $125,000 less in building permits; and a drop of $225,000 in impact fees.

While the town's General Fund is facing cutbacks, Braselton's water and sewerage fund anticipates growth in the coming year. Income is expected to grow from $8.9 million this year to $9.8 million in FY2021.

Spending is expected to go up as well, from $6.2 million to $7.75 million.

Braselton also has three other smaller agency budgets that are coming up for approval.

Braselton's Visitors Bureau Authority anticipates its budget will grow from $616,000 to $625,000 in the coming year. While some areas of that agencies spending will decline, the department anticipates spending significantly more in contact marketing for special events during FY2021.

The town's downtown development authority has a budget of $89,000 for FY2021, up from $66,800 in the current year.

Braselton's Urban Redevelopment Agency expects to see its budget grow from $162,000 to $200,000 in the coming year.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other action at its June meetings, the council approved:

•an alcohol license request from Joel Rodriguez for Tacos Tacos for malt beverages.

•the Gwinnett County hazard mitigation plan resolution.

•a request from Lensned, LLC, for a change in zoning conditions at 3705 Village Way. The change allows a 20-foot development buffer along Hwy. 211 instead of a 40-foot buffer.

•a conservation subdivision concept plan for Reserve at Liberty Park Phase 2.

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