Lula’s City Council voted Tuesday to forge ahead with its proposed wastewater treatment facility, a likely frontrunner to receive federal stimulus funds.
Council members hope to resubmit a loan application for federal stimulus funds through the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. The project has already received a loan through GEFA.
Lula officials hope to receive $3.5 million, 40 percent of the facility’s projected $8.7 million construction cost.
City Manager Dennis Bergin said Lula’s project is a good contender for stimulus funds because of how quickly construction can begin.
"Lula, it seems, has just fallen into the right place at the right time," Bergin said.
Bergin said the council’s special called public hearing was important to get the process started as quickly as possible.
"The challenge is going to be keeping our place in line," Bergin said. "At some point this becomes political."
Though Lula has a good shot, the federal funding isn’t a certainty.
"There’s no guarantee and it’s a moving target," Bergin said.
Engineer Brian Rindt said persistence will be key for the city to remain competitive. Speeding up the construction process will help the sewer project hold a top spot in line for stimulus funding.
"The people out there need to know that the city of Lula is committed to starting this project," Rindt said. "I’d like to see us award this bid in April."