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Flowery Branch hires company to test Mooney site for asbestos, lead
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FLOWERY BRANCH — Flowery Branch officials on Thursday agreed to a contract that seems to be the next step in the redevelopment of the property that once housed the Mooney Manufacturing Co.

The City Council agreed to hire ECS Southeast, paying the company $5,380 to perform some 100 different tests for asbestos and lead.

Results will give city officials a better idea of how much it will cost to demolish buildings on the site of the old manufacturing facility in “Old Town” Flowery Branch, City Manager Bill Andrew said.

The city bought the property in 2009, spending $262,500 for 7 acres at Main and Gainesville streets, as a possible site for a future government complex.

Today, the future of the property including the Mooney plant, which opened in 1936 and closed in 2002, is still uncertain.

City officials have said that a rusting water tower, a metal structure resembling a grain silo that houses sawdust and a large boiler, might need to go.

They hope the demolition can be paid for with funds from a special tax allocation district, which funds redevelopment projects.

The council also signed an agreement with Hall County that will allow city officials to dump its leftovers from the wastewater treatment process at the Hall County landfill.

Andrew told council members that the agreement would save the city money in the coming
fiscal year. Those savings, he said, have already been accounted for in budget plans for city operations.

“This would really save the city several thousand dollars,” Andrew said.

The county will charge $20 for every load. The agreement also calls for city officials to provide lab results that show the material isn’t hazardous.

With Thursday’s vote, Flowery Branch joins Gainesville in dumping its dewatered sludge at the county’s landfill.

The deal is likely to help revenues at the county landfill.

County officials have been searching for months for ways to make the landfill more financially viable, even considering privatization.

“I think it’s a good thing for the landfill, too,” Andrew said.

The agreement makes provisions for the possibility that the county may outsource the landfill to a private contractor, noting that in the event that occurs, Hall County will be required to honor the agreement with Flowery Branch until it expires or terminates.


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