Interchange may be named for former Barrow chairman

WINDER - Among the final things former Barrow County Commission Chairman Eddie Elder did before he died in office in 2004 was to work on upgrading an interchange at Ga. Highway 8 and Midland Avenue.

Now, that interchange will bear his name if a resolution approved by the county last week passes through the state Legislature.

District 2 Commissioner Bill Brown said Elder's many achievements in the county - including creating a full-time fire department, building four new fire stations, expanding recreational offerings and completing the Bear Creek Reservoir - earned him the honor of having the interchange named for him.

Elder was chairman from January 1997 until he died in February 2004. The interchange was the last major project he was involved in.

"It's a testament to his leadership," current Commission Chairman Doug Garrison said of the naming.

Legislation requesting the name change will be introduced in the Georgia General Assembly.

In addition to approving the naming in a Tuesday meeting, commissioners also passed a plan that would bring the seeds of sewer service - if not the roots themselves - to Auburn.

Sweet Apple Development offered to bring sewer to the 684-unit Auburn Station development, and by extension, the city.

Another developer, Taylor Harris, intended to build a temporary pump station to provide sewer service to the homes. Sweet Apple's will be permanent and will be capable of handling 1 million gallons daily.

Public Works Director Terry Darragh said the project would provide a trunk line for the county to expand off of.

"Getting trunk line sewer to Auburn, to me, is what our goal has always been," he said. "It makes us get to where we want to be."

The company requested to pay for the tap fees for 250 units up front and requested credit for the first half of the tap fee in exchange for performing the line work.

The development also donated 1 acre for a fire department and 40 acres for a school.

Members of the Board of Commissioners voted to spend $196,917.50 for water system improvements on Manning Gin Road and $92,142.80 for a Voice Over IP system that will allow better use of the telephones.

The system will translate phone messages into data that can be e-mailed, integrate voice mail with e-mail and allow for a phone directory and intercom service.

Switches to use the technology in the annex, courthouse, work release center, building and grounds facility and fire department will cost an additional $18,470.34. The county phone bill for those areas is $3,800 a month.