Lula plans to build a new well off of Belton Bridge Road and is moving forward with the eminent domain process required to acquire the land needed.
The Lula City Council voted unanimously Monday to exercise eminent domain to acquire an easement area of 1.63 acres for a 3,750-square-foot well site. The city has already been in communication with the property owner, City Attorney Joseph Homans said Monday.
Homans said the total size of the property owner’s tract is more than 49 acres.
First, a test well will be constructed, and 24-hour and 72-hour tests will be done. If everything goes smoothly, a more permanent well would then be built.
Lula currently has four wells providing water for the city.
An access road would be built to reach the well site. Costs for the access road and the well itself have not been finalized yet. Because the project is still in the early stages, the exact size and materials for the building have not been decided, according to Robert Simmons, project manager with Rindt-McDuff Associates, the Gainesville-based firm Lula has hired for the project.
Resident Monica Pryor lives on Belton Bridge Road and asked at Monday’s meeting about the access road that would be built leading to the well site. Mayor Jim Grier clarified that the access road would not be public, so it would not experience high traffic.
Pryor also questioned why the city was going forward with the project without knowing how much it would cost. Grier responded that the budget for the project would be finalized as the design and planning process progressed, and cost would be determined by a number of factors, including the terrain in the area.
“There are some things, where until we get to a certain process, cost is irrelevant because if we don’t go past that point, then we don’t need to have that cost or know what that is,” Grier said.
The city will hold another public hearing about the well on Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at Lula City Hall, 6055 Main St.