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Stimulus to help Lula pay for new wastewater plant
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The city of Lula has been awarded a $6 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The stimulus funds will go toward the building of a wastewater treatment plant.

"We just couldn’t be more fortunate," City Manager Dennis Bergin said.

Lula officials worked for seven months to secure the funds and competed with more than 400 applicants for the grant, Bergin said.

The city was able to climb ahead of others because of all the preliminary work that had been done on the project.

"It’s like everything’s coming together at the right time," Bergin said.

The wastewater treatment facility will serve an 8,000-acre service delivery area around Lula.

The northern corridor is projected to nearly triple in population by 2020 because of the massive Hagen Creek and Cane Creek communities that are planned for development nearby.

"Without wastewater, growth is not going to happen," Mayor Milton Turner said.

The $6 million grant will be coupled with a low-interest loan from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for about $2.5 million.

The grant will cover 70 percent of the project’s cost. Lula officials originally thought they may only receive a grant to cover 40 percent of the costs, Turner said.

"I was on pins and needles," Turner said. "It really lowers our payments."

Turner said having the federal grant allows Lula to build a bigger, better facility.

"It’s one of the state-of-the-art base reactor plants," Turner said.

Bergin said construction on the wastewater plant likely will begin in the next month.

"Conceivably we could be up and running in 30 days," Bergin said. "In 60 days, we’ll be doing more than just moving dirt."

Bergin said the facility will bring not only a short-term economic boost through job creation but a long-term impact.

"This is going to help us bring quality, managed growth to the area," Bergin said.

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