LULA — Lula officials ceremoniously broke ground on the much-anticipated wastewater treatment plant Friday.
The ceremony was held at the site of the future plant off of Magnolia Station Drive and celebrated the six years of planning to get the plant permitted as well as the economic effect it will have in the future.
"I’m so excited today," said Lula Mayor Milton Turner. "This is a long time coming."
City Manager Dennis Bergin said it typically takes 10 years from start to finish to complete a facility like the plant slated for Lula.
The majority of the process is now behind them and the city is looking at an 18-month construction period for the facility. Construction on the plant is set to begin within two weeks. The land has already been grated and work is under way on sewer lines.
"Hard work pays off," Bergin said. "We’re humbled and very fortunate for all that has taken place."
The plant will be a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly facility, made possible in part by a $6 million grant from the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Bergin said the plant’s construction will create around 200 local jobs.
"One of the best things about this plant is it’s going to impact economic development," Bergin said.
But job creation will not end once the plant is complete. The sewer system will attract businesses to the Ga. 365 corridor.
"This is long-term economic development," Turner said.
State Sen. Lee Hawkins, Rep. Doug Collins, Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver and Commissioner Steve Gailey spoke at the event about the importance of the wastewater treatment plant to the region’s future.
"I think it was very progressive for Lula to pursue this sewer plant," Oliver said. "Our communities never stand still. We’re either going forward or backward and I think it’s an indication that they’re moving Lula forward."