The Oakwood City Council met Monday evening and voted to pass an amendment on the city’s contract with Braselton that will allow the two cities to connect their sewer systems without requiring approval by Hall County authorities.
"The key thing is ... this is a great step for the two cities to work together to meet the sewer needs of the growing area of South Hall," Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said.
Oakwood signed an agreement with the city of Braselton last year that would allow the Oakwood sewer system to expand into Braselton city limits.
The agreement originally required Oakwood to obtain permission from Hall County officials to expand sewer lines.
But because Braselton and Oakwood lie within the Hall County Municipality Partnership District, the Oakwood City Council recognized that Hall County is not required to approve the project based on how sewer services will be delivered, Brown said.
A motion was passed at Monday’s meeting in Oakwood that removed the Hall County concurrence requirement from the agreement.
While the Oakwood City Council was working on the legal agreement, Braselton officials met with the Environmental Protection Division to discuss the details of the project.
Brown compared the sewer connection project to businesses engaging in a joint venture that meets the needs of both cities.
Oakwood will be allowed to purchase up to 2.5 million gallons of sewer capacity in Braselton’s wastewater treatment plant, and will help finance the expansion of the Braselton sewer system over the next 15 years.
Oakwood has already partnered with the cities of Gainesville and Flowery Branch and owns sewer capacity in both of the neighboring municipalities.
Brown estimated it will cost the city of Oakwood more than $30 million to
purchase capacity in the Braselton waste water plant and to build the necessary sewer lines to make the connection.
The sewer lines will be constructed in Oakwood’s Winder Highway annexation, which is an approximately 3-mile long area on Winder Highway stretching from Atlanta Highway to Union Church Road, Brown said. He added that construction will likely begin there late next year, and it will take 18 months to two years to get Oakwood lines connected to the Braselton plant.
Brown said the Oakwood City Council anticipates commercial and residential growth in the Winder Highway area. He said that for a single-family residence in the Winder Highway area of Oakwood, it will cost about $4,000 to connect to the new Oakwood sewer lines.
"It’s important for us because we’ve identified Winder Highway as an area we’d wish to grow in," Brown said. "For us it’s huge ... because we need wastewater capacity to ensure that area grows in a proper way."