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Official touts future of South Hall sewage plant

POSTED: January 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Hall County officials presented their newest asset, the Spout Springs Reuse Facility, at a press conference Monday in South Hall.

The wastewater treatment facility soon will provide sewer service to unincorporated South Hall, an area that relies heavily on septic systems. The facility could make room for more commercial and industrial development in that end of the county, said Hall County Commissioner Bobby Banks.

The sewer plant has a permit to treat up to 750,000 gallons of waste per day. The plant, which serves South Hall’s Reunion and Sterling on the Lake subdivisions, as well as the Village at Deaton Creek, now uses about one-third of that capacity.

Banks said the county’s control of the plant will make room for more commercial and industrial development in South Hall. Banks said he already had one development company contact him about building a shopping center in the area.

"People have already started calling wanting to know how they can hook on," Banks said.

Also, the county will be able to return treated wastewater from South Hall to Lake Lanier.

"Eventually, we’ll be able to get that water back to Gainesville," Banks said. "Right now, it’s going (on a field) in a spray application."

Banks said the county is working on increasing the treatment permit to 1.6 million gallons per day. The increased permit would allow the county to expand sewer services to the southern region of unincorporated Hall County.

Banks said it could be another year before the county gets the go-ahead from Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division to expand the plant’s capacity.

The wastewater treatment facility, once owned by developer John Wieland, came into Hall County’s hands about a month ago for $13.8 million. The county paid for the facility with bonds, and expects to pay the bonds off with sewer tap-on fees.

In 2003, the Lanier Wastewater Authority tried to purchase the facility from Wieland, but the deal never closed.

Wieland, who built the treatment facility for the neighborhoods he is developing in South Hall, went to county officials in September to negotiate the sale of the facility, Banks said. In the purchase agreement, Wieland was given the option to buy tap fees for $5,000 per house he builds in the area.

"(There are) an additional 3,000 tap fees that they (Wieland) are capable of buying over the next eight to 10 years," Banks said. "And up and above that, we can sell to whomever we want to."

"Any tap fee that they buy from the county will cost them $5,000 per house."

The county assumed control of the plant on January 1.



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