Lula City Council on Tuesday night agreed to a $244,000 contract for engineering services that sets in motion the development of a new sewer line to accommodate forecasted growth in the northeast Hall County city over the next several years.
Lula officials have been exploring options to finance the proposed sewer project since last fall.
Officials are interested in expanding sewer lines to the west side of Ga. 365, as well as connecting potential residential and retail development along Belton Bridge Road to the city system.
Officials have also considered the prospect of servicing a large tract off Lula Road/Ga. 52 that is owned by Gainesville-based Mar-Jac Poultry Inc.
The engineering phase lays the groundwork for the city to request bids for the sewer project in the coming months, and it will include everything from surveying to design to an environmental assessment.
Officials are considering a project budget of $1.45 million for the sewer line expansion, but won’t have a firmer financial plan until engineering is complete and bids for construction are submitted.
“You got to put it all out there” first to get the budget and dollar cap settled, said City Manager Dennis Bergin.
City officials have discussed a long-term, low-interest loan with the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority or using cash reserves of up to $700,000 to pay for the project, which they believe will help drive growth and development.
Bergin said he would be meeting with officials from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority next week to begin discussing options.