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Snellville ready to open long-awaited City Center

SNELLVILLE - Jerry Oberholtzer spent many sleepless nights wondering if his vision for Snellville was only a dream.

But Friday, the mayor got to tour the new City Hall, where Monday's council meeting will be held.

"Many times I thought it was going to die. We even had to have an election over it," Oberholtzer said while gazing up at the two-story edifice. "It is the new Snellville."

When movers settle city workers in next week, Oberholtzer can celebrate work that started five years ago when he was on the City Council.

Actually, Oberholtzer is the only elected official still in office that was part of the original vision.

It began with a proposal involving Snell-ville United Methodist Church, which hoped to expand but was bound by a road on one side and the city government complex on the other.

The church officials offered to swap land across the street where an old shopping center sat partially empty.

After dozens of controversial votes over the deal, studies over the site, a decision to demolish and start over, controversies over financing and a long construction period, Oberholtzer said he was proud of the end result.

He'll even have an office for the first time ever.

For the past several decades, the city government has been based in a 1950s-era former schoolhouse. According to City Manager Jeff Timler, the 12,500-square-foot building has rusty pipes, a leaky roof and termite and rat problems.

The city will close those doors and those of a 4,900-square-foot senior center on Friday.

On Jan. 16 it will re-open at the new 33,000-square-foot edifice and the adjacent 12,500-square-foot new senior center.

This coming Monday, the building will open for tours at 5 p.m. before the council's 6:30 p.m. work session and 7:30 p.m. regular session.

Pastor David Jones of Snell-ville United Methodist Church will present the invocation.