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Barrow's mayors report on progress

AUBURN - Sewer and the West Winder bypass generated high interest in Barrow County's city and county officials.

Representatives from Auburn, Braselton, Carl, Statham, Barrow County and the Chamber of Commerce met Monday over the mayor's quarterly luncheon to report on issues and progress.

Barrow County

The concept plan is complete on the West Winder bypass, a proposed road expected to relieve traffic through downtown Winder. Officials are now dealing with issues such as historical houses, farms and buildings, according to Terry Darraugh, Barrow County's director of public works.

A May groundbreaking date is planned for the new courthouse/jail complex, currently in the design phase. A new animal control shelter, planned for the same area, should be complete by year's end, according to Keith Lee, Barrow County's chief administrator.

Winder and Barrow County expect to open the doors of the new adult day care center in a few weeks, Lee said.

Looking to the future, workers expect to break ground on a new $4.5 million cultural arts center at the intersection of Ga. Highways 316 and 53 within two years. The facility will be constructed and maintained through an intragovernmental agreement between the Barrow County Board of Commissioners and Barrow County's Board of Education.

"A motel has already shown interest in locating there," said Doug Garrison, County Commission chairman.

Auburn

Auburn might one day operate without water meter readers, said Public Works Director David Hawthorne. Officials are looking at a procedure in which all meters are read at once from the top of the water tower.

Auburn city officials and its librarian are exploring creative ways to stock the library with books and other materials, council member Linda Blechinger said.

Braselton

Braselton could become the first city in Georgia to have a Community Improvement District that spans two counties, Mayor Pat Graham said. The district would center on Braselton's industrial area along Ga. Highway 124 and would stretch across Barrow and Jackson counties. Braselton lies in the corner of four counties, including Gwinnett and Hall.

"It is a self-funding mechanism," Graham said.

Braselton town officials continue to explore creating a tax allocation district for its historical downtown area. The additional cash would help create infill development that might help revitalize the area.

Carl

First Baptist Church of Carl has been sold. Carl officials announced that an Activity Zone gymnasium will be built on the church's former location. A new church is being built on Carl-Bethlehem Road.

Statham

Statham is set to vote in today's council meeting on whether to approve construction of a $2.5 million sewer system, Mayor Robert Bridges said.