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Barrow files injunction against Auburn annexations

WINDER - Barrow County attorney Angela Davis filed an injunction in Barrow County Superior Court against Auburn's November 2006 annexations.

The injunction seeks to halt the annexation process until a December 2006 lawsuit filed by Barrow County against Auburn is heard in court.

In November, Auburn forcibly annexed several land islands totaling about 100 acres. An island is created when a city annexes around a patch of county, finally enclosing it on all sides. State law allows cities to annex those islands, whether or not the property owner wants to join the city.

The annexations were unpopular with land owners, especially those with large acreage or who had lived on their unincorporated Barrow County property for generations. Some owners annexed into Carl, which has no property taxes, before Auburn could get them.

On Dec. 14, Barrow County's attorney filed a lawsuit against Auburn in Barrow County Superior Court, claiming proper procedure had not been followed in the annexations. Barrow County officials are asking a judge to investigate Auburn's annexations going back to 1947.

Commissioner Roger Wehunt said he sympathizes with both Auburn and the affected land owners.

"I think it should be done, I believe in cleaning up the city's boundaries," Wehunt said. "But I don't believe in taking people in who don't want it and creating a hardship on them. Like Leroy (Evans) owns 50-some acres. Those property taxes will hit him in the pocket. We owe it to our citizens to protect them."

Neither Mayor Harold Money nor Auburn's City Council Members were available for comment Monday.