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Chairman: Glades water will be in demand
Oliver calls Hall reservoir affordable and necessary
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Oliver: North Hall Park to open in 2012

In his remarks to the South Hall Business Coalition, Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver also said he would like to open a park on Nopone Road as early as February.

Funds for operating the park were not included in the current fiscal year’s budget, which details county spending through June 2012.

“If I get two more votes, we’re going to open up Nopone in February,” Oliver said. “And I want to be in the front of the ribbon cutting.”

Ashley Fielding

Hall County will have no problem paying for the construction of an 850-acre reservoir in North Hall, Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver told a group of South Hall business leaders Thursday.

"You won't have to worry about ... calling people to sell water from Glades," Oliver said. "They'll be calling you."

Oliver questioned whether Hall County's access to Lake Lanier's water will be curbed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' new water manual for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin is released. It is scheduled to be completed next summer per orders from a panel of federal judges.

Situated near the top of the river basin, Lanier provides much of the water for metro Atlanta. It is currently the sole source of water for Gainesville.

In a speech at the South Hall Business Coalition of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, Oliver contended that with the pressures of the current drought, the corps may limit water withdrawals from Lanier.

If that happens, Oliver says the demand for Glades will be greater than ever. The chairman put the chance of constructing the lake, which faces an intense environmental impact study before gaining permission for construction, at 100 percent.

"Glades is bigger than this county," Oliver said. "It's a state issue."

He says county officials plan to connect the future North Hall reservoir to an existing reservoir in the Oconee River basin, Cedar Creek. Gainesville currently owns Cedar Creek; Hall County holds the permit to withdraw its water.

Glades is proposed to provide 80 million gallons of water per day. Cedar Creek is capable of as much as 12 million gallons per day.

With the two reservoirs combined, Oliver told business leaders the county would control "one of the best economic engines in the country."

Commissioners voted last week to approve the expense of up to $1.53 million to pay a consultant to prepare an environmental impact statement for the corps.