Flowery Branch took early steps Thursday night in a long-term plan to improve water and sewer infrastructure and cope with growth that’s already taking place in the South Hall city.
The City Council voted Dec. 20 to start the engineering for a new 250,000-gallon water tank, replacing an existing 60,000-gallon tank on Gainesville Street, and in raising the elevation of the city’s existing 150,000-gallon tank on Roberts Drive.
“We’re going to be balancing the (water) pressure between these two tanks,” City Manager Bill Andrew said of the project.
The cost for the engineering work is $51,500. The work will involve “digging into the ground (and) testing the soils to make sure the foundations are built properly,” Andrew said.
Flowery Branch is raising water and sewer rates 5 percent this year to help bolster its capital improvement plan.
The city is experiencing and anticipating significant growth,” states a letter to customers announcing the hike. “Accommodating this growth creates an opportunity for the city to improve our service to all customers.”
The letter goes on to say the city is planning water tank improvements, water and sewer line improvements and a sewer plant expansion.
“These enhancements will ensure continued service now and into the future,” it says.
Construction is underway throughout the city on new residential developments.
And more is on the way, including a 324-unit apartment complex off Phil Niekro Boulevard at Thurmon Tanner Parkway, just west of Interstate 985.
The front portion of the property, facing Phil Niekro, will feature five outparcels, varying in size from 1 to 1½ acres. The lots could contain retail businesses, such as restaurants, Kurt R. Alexander, principal for The Residential Group, told the council at its Dec. 6 meeting.
The council gave its final rezoning OK Thursday night to the project.