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Public input sought on reservoir plan
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Area residents are invited to learn about the proposed Glades Reservoir and share their thoughts at a public meeting Thursday.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. in the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville.

Hall County officials are expecting a large turnout, especially following the July 17 federal court ruling on Lake Lanier.

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson could force Gainesville to cut back its Lake Lanier water withdrawals from 18.5 to 8 million gallons per day within three years, highlighting the future need for alternative water sources such as Glades Reservoir.

Officials will give a presentation explaining the project, followed by time for public comment.

The county submitted an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, seeking a permit to build the water supply reservoir. On July 8, the corps issued a notice that Hall County is seeking a permit.

The public hearing is part of a required 30-day comment period that the corps has extended to 60 days to allow more time for review in light of the recent federal court decision.

The public also may submit comments in writing before Sept. 6 to: Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Piedmont Branch, Attn: Mr. Justin Hammonds, 1590 Adamson Parkway, Suite 200, Morrow, GA 30260-1777. Refer to the project name as Glades Reservoir, USACE Project Number 200700388.

The Joint Public Notice issued by the U.S. Corps of Engineers is one of the final steps needed to obtain a federal permit to build a reservoir. Officials estimate the project will be permitted by next August.

The proposed 850-acre Glades Reservoir would be located in North Hall and yield 6.4 million gallons of water when complete.

Gov. Sonny Perdue is once again trying to resume negotiations over water from Lake Lanier.

Perdue recently sent a letter inviting Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to a summit in Atlanta to hash out a deal over federal water rights.

The three-year deadline ordered by Magnuson has sent Georgia officials searching for a solution. Perdue has argued the legal fight is a national issue, but he sought again to broker a compromise with the neighboring states as a framework for a deal.