Parking lot to be built over Barrow stream, developer to upgrade another stream

WINDER - In return for building a parking lot over a stream, the company developing the Belks/Publix/Target shopping center on Ga. Highway 316 will upgrade another stream on Smith Mill Road and build a walking trail nearby.

The 600,000-square-foot, $60 million retail center planned for the former farmland at the intersection of Ga. 316 and Ga. Highway 81 will hold a Belks, a Publix and a Target with a number of other store fronts. A stream runs through a portion of the parking lot. To satisfy mitigation requirements, Faison Development Company, the company developing the Belks/Target property, will restore wetlands and a stream located between the Smith Mill East and Smith Mill West subdivisions and construct a 1-mile walking trail in the area. Barrow County owns that property and the Department of Parks and Recreation will maintain it.

In compliance with tree planting regulations, 24 trees will be planted at the Haymon Morris school cluster, because space won't allow the county to plant the required number of trees on the retail site, Guy Herring, Barrow County's planning director.

The retail center is expected to generate $150 million in annual sales while contributing $4.5 million in sales tax and $220,00 in property taxes to Barrow County. County schools will receive $440,000 in taxes from the development, said Doug Garrison, chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

In other business

The secondary runway at the Northeast Georgia Regional Airport will be repaired. The board accepted a $431,250 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation that requires Barrow County match 25 percent with $143,750. That cash will be paid from the one-cent sales tax fund. The Airport Authority will pay $46,600 for engineering costs related to the repairs.