The Flowery Branch City Council held a public hearing Wednesday about plans to increase capacity at the sewer plant off Atlanta Highway, though nobody showed up to speak.
City Manager Bill Andrew pointed out that it’s likely there is no opposition to the sewer project because the city’s plans will actually lessen the environmental impact on Lake Lanier.
Flowery Branch has acquired an aging plant run by the Cinnamon Cove condominium complex at 6500 Gaines Ferry Road as part of a bigger plan to raise capacity at its sewer plant to 2.05 million gallons per day.
"The capacity for the current plant is about 90 percent allocated," Andrew said.
Using revenue from its special purpose local option sales tax, the city plans to spend $1.3 million toward building two sewer lift stations, with one replacing the Cinnamon Cove plant, and a force main line.
Andrew said environmental groups are pleased by the city’s plans to "combine capacities."
"They see this will take another discharge point out of the lake," Andrew said. "They’re very supportive of it."
City Planner James Riker said Flowery Branch’s plant also has more rigorous sewage treatment than Cinnamon Cove’s.
"That facility right now does not treat waste water at the level that our plant is capable of treating to, so that’s why it’s a real benefit to the lake," Riker said.
Andrew said the hearing was scheduled as part of the process to receive permitting from the Environmental Protection Division.
"To get a permit to construct a plant you’re required to do an environmental assessment of the area where the construction will take place with the plant and of course look at the lake and any discharges you might have," Andrew said. "We didn’t find that we had any environmental impacts at all. The area is so disturbed already, it’s already been a plant." Following Wednesday’s hearing, Andrew said Flowery Branch will submit a final report to the Environmental Protection Division. If that is approved, work can on the design of the plant. Once the design is approved, a permit will be issued to begin construction.
Although when construction will begin is uncertain.
"We really don’t have a time frame for that right now," Andrew said.