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Oakwood to extend sewer to restaurant
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Work could begin soon on an effort to extend sewer from Ga. 53/Winder Highway to Smokehouse Barbecue & Catering off Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway and Poplar Springs Road.

"The design is complete and we've already reviewed the plans," City Manager Stan Brown said last week. "We expected (the work) will be permitted by Christmas."
Smokehouse is overseeing the construction, with the business having received prices and the city reviewing bids.

"I think we're on track," Brown said.

The sewer project calls for extending a line from Walden at Oakwood apartment complex off Winder Highway, a distance of about 2,100 feet.

Smokehouse will pay to tie onto the new sewer line but also a "pro rata share of the actual line extension," Brown has said.

"And then our connection fees for the other properties (that tie on) in the future would recoup our costs," which is estimated to run about $200,000, he added.

For years, Smokehouse has served customers from a take-out order counter in one building and used another building on the property as a dining room.

Plans call for Smokehouse to renovate a third building that was, at one time, a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and turn it into a 125-seat, air-conditioned dining area, said Don Rogers, whose company, Prostar Renovations, is handling the construction.

"Not only will the sewer be great for our business, but for all the property along the line," he said Sunday evening. "There are vacant lots existing along the sewer line. These properties could also flourish with commercial businesss."

The project should be completed by February, when the new dining area is expected to open.

In another Oakwood sewer project, the South Hall city hopes to complete its part of a line running to the Braselton sewer system by the end of the year, a $2.1 million project that could increase Oakwood's capacity by as much as 2.5 million gallons per day.

"There may be a few punch-list items to do, and then it will be after January 2013 before Braselton will have its part (of the line) ready," Brown said.

"As it stands right now, we're not in imminent need (for sewer capacity)," he said.