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South Hall sewer project back in focus

Oakwood-Braselton connection may resume next year

POSTED: March 16, 2013 11:27 p.m.

Work could resume in 2014 on Oakwood’s long-awaited sewer expansion project, which involves a connection with the Braselton system.

The project had hinged on whether the transportation sales tax vote would pass in the Northeast Georgia region last July. Braselton was considering placing sewer lines off a proposed road between Ga. 211 and Ga. 53.

The sales tax referendum failed — as in did in nine of 12 regions statewide, including the Georgia Mountains.

“We’ve been looking at other alternatives — a more cost-effective way — of how to tie into Braselton sewer,” Oakwood City Manager Stan said last week.

Braselton plans on putting in a sewer line along Ga. 53 to serve businesses in that area.

“We can do some modification to the end point on our project to tie in to that other location,” Brown said.

The move would require a new pump station. City Council voted last week to spend $102,200 on final design work on the project.

The council approved a resolution that modifies its loan on the project with Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.

As it turns out, the change “will save us some extra costs and extra right of way that was going to be needed,” Brown said.

Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Dees said it has an Appalachian Regional Commission grant that’s helping pay for the Ga. 53 sewer project.

The connection with Oakwood will take place off Ga. 53 at Ednaville Road/New Cut Road, she said.

Oakwood, which doesn’t operate a system and also has tapped into the Gainesville and Flowery Branch systems, and Braselton have worked on the project for several years.

As part of the effort, Oakwood has spent $1.1 million on a pump station off Martin Road, near Winder Highway.

At one point, Brown had hoped sewer service from Braselton starting in early 2013. Now he expects design work on the rest of the project to finish this year and construction of the final connection in 2014.

The two cities have an agreement where Braselton ultimately could provide Oakwood up to 2.5 million gallons of sewer capacity.

Brown doesn’t see the need for that much sewer any time soon.

“That would be the build-out at the highest level — it would have to be something huge,” he said.

He said when the project began to take shape five or six years ago, “we could have visualized 1.5 million gallons per day going to Braselton.

“At this stage, I think it’s going to be a while before we get there.”

When the two cities began talks on the joint effort, both were growing rapidly — Oakwood particularly on the east side of town, in the Martin Road area.

Braselton continued to expand, including off Spout Springs Road area of Hall County, through the economic downturn.

But even Braselton “hasn’t seen as much development as 2005,” Dees said.


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