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Dawson County: Sewer authority, city discussing service limitations

POSTED: September 4, 2013 11:44 p.m.

Dawsonville and the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority have begun talks on a new agreement that could allow the city to expand its water and sewer customer base.

Mayor James Grogan and City Attorney Dana Miles met Aug. 29 with Etowah officials including Jim King, authority chairman, Brooke Anderson, general manager, and attorney Linda Dunlavy.

County Commissioners’ Chairman Mike Berg and County Attorney Joey Homans also attended, since the matter could affect the county.

Following much discussion, nothing was decided at the meeting. The legal counsel for both parties agreed to meet at a later date after talks with their respective sides.

The city and Etowah have had a service agreement since 1989. At the time, the city was not able to provide enough water for residents. The agreement, which drew a perimeter around the original city limits, was later amended in 1990, 1994, and 2006, as water and sewer infrastructure grew.

“We want to be able to serve what is within the city limits,” Grogan said. “Etowah can handle the county. We want to serve our base, our city.”

The city submitted a proposal to Etowah in May to renegotiate billing plans, as well as the current service area.

Under the plan, the city would terminate all prior agreements between itself and the authority. It would also give the city the right to provide water and sewer to all residents.

Finally, the proposal would end the authority’s required water sales to the city.

“Historically, we’ve served parts of the city. We don’t see any problems with that,” King said. “The agreement we’ve had has served us, the county and the city well for many years. We don’t see any valid reasons for changing it.”

However, Grogan said the setup simply didn’t work for the city anymore.


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