Braselton is one of four l cities pitching for a federal grant that will provide $1 million in regional planning resources.
City officials in Oakwood and Flowery Branch initially learned about the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, which is offered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“They met and talked about it, and they thought it would be a great thing to do for South Hall,” said Braselton town manager Jennifer Dees. “So, they asked Buford and Braselton if we could all meet and talk about it.”
The grant calls for the creation of a regional planning consortium that would include public, private and non-profit groups that provide input and guidance on sustainability issues — such as economic development, infrastructure, housing and public health.
The councils in the four cities — Oakwood, Flowery Branch, Buford and Braselton — are expected to approve a resolution this month authorizing them to apply for the federal grant. The Braselton Town Council approved the resolution on Monday.
The cities have enlisted a Suwanneebased consulting firm, McFarland-Dyer and Associates, to work on the grant. And one of the issues the regional consortium may discuss is a proposed high-speed rail line through Gainesville, using an existing Amtrak railroad track.
If the cities get the federal grant, it would lead to detailed regional plans, policies and strategies in the cities and stakeholders to promote economic development and reinvestment in the community, according to a memo from McFarland-Dyer and Associates.
The plan would include all of the incorporated areas of the cities — even beyond their boundaries in Hall County, Dees said. Braselton also spans into Jackson, Barrow and Gwinnett counties, while Buford’s city limits also extend into Gwinnett County.