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The Local Agenda: Council expecting update on stormwater program Thursday
Officials renaming public utilities department
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Gainesville officials are pushing forward with a plan to create a stormwater utility and implement a “rain tax” to pay for upgrades and replacements to aging drainage infrastructure. They will receive an update and recommendations about how to proceed at a work session Thursday morning.

Launching the full-scale program includes renaming the public utilities department the Gainesville Department of Water Resources.

Officials have debated how a fee will be calculated and applied on commercial and residential properties in the city to pay for ongoing operations, maintenance and expansion of stormwater infrastructure.

The city has about 170 miles of pipe, the vast majority of which is corrugated metal and reinforced concrete. There are 222 detention ponds, about 4,500 catch basins, about 5,000 head/end walls and about 1,700 junction boxes.

City Council meets at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 301 of the administration building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

City planning board to review proposal for Catholic church Tuesday

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board will hear a request Tuesday night from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta to rezone and amend property near the intersection of Browns Bridge Road and McEver Road for a new church campus.

The proposal calls for the campus to be phased in over 20 years or more. The first phase includes a 1,000-seat sanctuary.

Additional plans call for a parish social hall, administrative offices, community meeting rooms, education classrooms, storage, a clergy residency, commercial kitchen and food pantry, basic medical clinic and temporary lodging.

The city’s planning staff has recommended approval with a few conditions, and increased traffic in the area has prompted a few proposed improvements.

Part of the property, which consists of two tracts located along Smith Road, has been zoned for several uses in the past, including other churches, retail shops, condominiums and a convenience store.

The planning board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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