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Oakwood hopes Braselton will pitch in with sewer service
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OAKWOOD - Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown plans to talk with Braselton officials about securing 50,000 gallons of capacity from the city's sewer treatment plant.

City Council voted Monday evening to give Brown the approval to start negotiating.

"We can go ahead and be selling (sewer capacity) to people, and that gives us a little more motivation to get that line in the ground," said Mayor Lamar Scroggs in recommending the OK.

Oakwood, which doesn't have a sewer or water plant of its own, is working to secure nearly 4 million gallons of collective sewer capacity from Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Braselton by 2030 for anticipated development.

The city already is growing by leaps and bounds, with a commercial corridor forming on Winder Highway. The Georgia Department of Transportation is finishing up a project to widen that road to four lanes.

Brown, who is meeting later this month with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division over the project, said he believes that obtaining the sewer capacity "would be a wise thing to do."

"Plans are pretty much complete," he said.

When he mentioned to the council the amount of capacity he could seek from Braselton, Scroggs quickly chimed in, "Or more."

Brown said he believed that 50,000 gallons "would at least give us some foothold in that plant."

In other business Monday, the council held the first of three public hearings on the proposed property tax rate that will support the 2009 budget, which takes effect Jan. 1.

No one showed up to speak at the hearing.

Oakwood plans to keep the rate the same, at 2.48 mills, with 1 mill equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 40 percent.

The other hearings are set for 4 p.m. Oct. 6 and 6 p.m. Oct. 13, also at City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle. The city must hold the hearings, per state law, as the rate is expected to raise more revenue than it has this year.

The council is set to give initial approval to the rate on Oct. 13 and its final OK on Oct. 20.

Council members also voted Monday night to award a contract for the installation of a traffic light at McEver Road and H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway, at the entrance to Oakwood South Industrial Park.

The city will pay JJE Constructors Inc. $175,000 for the work, which was estimated at $198,814. The work is expected to be completed by the year's end.

Council members also gave final approval Monday night to annexing properties as part of a citywide "in-fill annexation project."

The city brought in dozens of unincorporated properties scattered around the old part of the city, on streets such as Oakwood Road, Nellie Drive and Mundy Mill Drive.

City officials described the project as a "friendly" attempt to see if Hall County residents living next door to city property would like to take advantage of city services, such as trash pickup and rapid police response.


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