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Cedar Creek plant plans are flowing
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Gainesville's plans for the Cedar Creek water treatment plant are moving forward with council members approving pre-construction services Thursday morning.

City officials approved a construction manager at-risk, who will help complete design plans for the water treatment plant and find subcontracting services, said Matt Henderson, the project manager in the public utilities engineering department.

"Construction will start in June, and pre-construction will go until that point. We're 30 percent complete with design now," Henderson said. "We bring on board the manager to be a part of that, and they will be prepared to come on board as soon as they are approved for the award."

The city received 10 bids for the manager position, and Brasfield & Gorrie submitted the lowest bid of $50,000 for pre-construction services and about $1.1 million if it is chosen to complete the construction.

"They've built a plant just like this," Henderson said. "The pre-construction services will entail scheduling and cost estimating to develop a maximum price for the project. Then we'll bring a construction contract before you for approval."

Council member George Wangemann noted the need to begin pursuing a building permit if construction will start in the summer, and council member Myrtle Figueras addressed the urgency to move forward with construction.

"With 2012 approaching so fast ..." she said, referring to U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson's ruling that Lake Lanier isn't an authorized source of drinking water.

In July 2009, Magnuson gave Georgia three years to negotiate the management of Lanier, have Congress reauthorize the reservoir or go back to withdrawal numbers equal to those in the mid-1970s.

The Cedar Creek reservoir, located in East Hall, is the only backup supply of water in the county if the ruling limits access to Lake Lanier in 2012. However, the city can't currently treat the water because the county has the permit to the water.

City and county officials have been at odds for months over which entity has control of the water in Cedar Creek and the financial details of its inclusion in a larger system with the proposed Glades Reservoir, which the county plans to build.

"We were going to build Cedar Creek anyway. It was already in our plans," Mayor Ruth Bruner said after the meeting. "It's a short-term solution, and Glades Farm is the long-term solution. We're still hoping for reauthorization of Lake Lanier, but we need Cedar Creek anyway."

In other business, Barclay Fouts, project manager for the new public safety complex, discussed the demolition of the old public safety area, which will include the two-story building and one-story gun range, abatement of floor tile and pipe insulation, and removal of asphalt and concrete.

Of 11 bids, Tristar of America will demolish the property for $113,000, which is below the city's estimated price of about $180,000.

Demolition will begin around the beginning of December and be complete around the beginning of February before construction of a pedestrian bridge starts, Fouts said.

"The timing is going to work out just fine," said city manager Kip Padgett.