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Gainesville to move ahead with sewer upgrade

Hall County spurned city’s offer to collaborate on boosting capacity

POSTED: November 30, 2012 11:59 p.m.

Gainesville likely will move forward with improvements to its North Hall sewer pump station even after the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday night to build a new sewer treatment plant in the area.

On Tuesday, the Gainesville City Council will vote on a resolution awarding a contract for the improvement of sewer pump station 23, located near Exit 24 on Interstate 985.

The station currently serves Gainesville Industrial Park North, home to Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. But city public utilities officials say any more development in the area could be more than the station can handle.

“Basically, that project is going to improve sewer capacity in that area for our collection system,” said Myron Bennett, engineering/construction division manager for Gainesville’s public utilities department. “Currently, (the station) is almost at capacity.

“It gets us ready to serve future customers in that corridor within our wastewater service district.”

When planning the project, city officials reached out to the county for a possible partnership. The idea was the county would help fund a portion of the $2 million project, which involves installing a gravity line to relieve sewer flow from station 23, diverting it to pump 26. That pump, Bennett said, is a larger, regional station that can handle the additional flow.

But instead of collaborating with the city, the county opted to build its own treatment plant in the area to plan for future growth.

“We had several meetings with the city on this project,” said Ken Rearden, director of pubic works and utilities for Hall County.

The county agreed to provide sewer serviced to Gateway Industrial Centre, a 518-acre industrial park that will be the future home to the new Georgia Poultry Laboratory. That agreement stated the county must provide the service within 36 months of the laboratory closing on the property in the park, which was completed in October.

To accomplish that, Rearden said his department presented the commission three options, including building the $3.2 million plant. The other two were transporting the sewer waste to Lula’s treatment plant or to partner with Gainesville on the new gravity line.

“The commission chose to do the treatment plan on our own,” Rearden said. “The commission felt that having the county be in control of how we configured this (would be best). There are 44,000 acres in North Hall to develop eventually.”

Gainesville planned to move forward with the station improvement regardless of the county’s answer to their offer.

The contract, which is slated go to Gary’s Grading & Pipeline Co., Inc. out of Monroe, will be voted on during Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’re going ahead with that project regardless,” Bennett said. “There’s no agreement with (the county) to participate at this point at all.”


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