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Officials to face public on Glades Reservoir
Commissioners, consultants will be present at discussion
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Glades Reservoir workshop

When: 10 a.m., following Hall Board of Commissioners work session
Where: Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St. SW, Gainesville
More information: Glades business plan, map and copy of presentation.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will host a public meeting on the progress of the Glades Reservoir after its 9 a.m. work session today.

“It has been a while since we updated everybody, and it’s good timing to give everybody an update of where we are and how far we’ve come with this larger reservoir,” Public Works Director Ken Rearden said.

Set to begin at approximately 10 a.m., the Glades workshop will include a presentation and open discussion with the commissioners and the consultants on the project.

The Glades workshop was born out of a discussion at the board’s last meeting about the cost of consultants. Hall County pays $40,000 per month to consultants for the Glades Reservoir, with a cap of $1.5 million.

The Glades Reservoir project was originally a public-private partnership with the owners of the Glades Farm property, a large undeveloped tract of land in northeastern Hall County that was used for timber.

The main consultants for the project, including Harold Reheis, former Environmental Protection Division director, and attorney Tommy Craig, were originally retained by the Glades property owners. Following their departure from the project, the consultants stayed on to work for the county.

At the Sept. 23 board meeting, Commissioner Ashley Bell said he would like the county to consider putting the project out for proposal to see if there are other consultants who could provide the same quality of services for a lower price without impeding the current application process.

The other commissioners said such a move would jeopardize the reservoir, which is in the process of obtaining a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Rearden said all the consultants for the project will be at the workshop.

“Tommy Craig is going to take the lead to do most of the presentation but everybody will be there for questions and answers,” Rearden said. “We’re going to talk about the way we want to approach mitigations and what the next steps are as far as the permits.”

Hall County is awaiting a nod from the Environmental Protection Division before filing a permit application with the corps.

“Staff would like to continue the permitting process at least with these consultants since they’ve gone so far down the road.

But we’re certainly open to what the commission wants to do,” Rearden said. “It’s a very important topic we think, and we are so far ahead of everybody else since we’ve got the land and have a really good plan. It’s going to be a great project for the state of Georgia.”