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Barrow readies for business openings

WINDER - Mayor Chip Thompson arrived at the Tuesday City Council meeting having come from a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Target store on Ga. Highway 81.

"It's a beautiful new store, and it has a Starbucks in it," Thompson joked, saying that he didn't want any more Winder residents driving into Gwinnett County for their daily fix of caffeine.

While the ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, the official grand opening of the store will be Sunday. According to City Administrator Bob Beck, patrons will be able to shop at the new store from now until the grand opening.

A ribbon cutting for the new Belk's department store in the same area is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 11. A new McDonald's restaurant, Publix supermarket and other well-known retail stores are open for business or will be soon, all in the same area.

City awarded two grants

The Winder Fire Department has been awarded a $144,000 grant for Homeland Security. The funds will be used for a breathing air trailer and 16 breathing tanks for firefighters to use.

The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded the city a $96,000 grant for a Livable Centers Initiative study. Winder will match a percentage of that amount for a 12-month study to be completed by March 2010.

"This will allow the city to bring our 2020 vision into clear focus," said Beck