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The Local Agenda: Gainesville council to discuss Riverside Drive plant upgrades
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Public meetings may be around the corner for residents near Gainesville’s Riverside Drive water treatment plant to learn more about proposed construction there.

City Council members are scheduled to get an update on the project at Thursday’s work session. The agenda includes mention of a conceptual design.

The Public Utilities Department proposed in March building a new facility on the property, as well as modernizing the 50-year-old plant.

Council members said they wanted a picture they could show residents to get their input before moving forward. They expressed concern that they would start the project only to have residents unhappy with the plan.

“I believe I would rather have their approval at the beginning,” Councilman Bob Hamrick said at the time.

Part of the project includes rerouting Crepe Myrtle Lane far west of the property to fence off the buildings.

Worn chemical systems pose a safety hazard to workers and the surrounding communities, said Joel Altherr, a project manager in public utilities, in March.

Modernizations include replacing chlorine gas use with liquid bleach, replacing the storage tanks for alum, a chemical used to purify water, with new fiberglass plastic tanks and switching to a liquid lime system instead of using dry lime, which can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.

Gainesville to discuss succession plan

Gainesville council members are also expected to discuss the city’s Emergency Interim Succession Plan at their work session.

Councilman George Wangemann gave up the mayor pro tem position last week when he announced he was running again to represent Ward 4 on the City Council. The mayor pro tem performs the duties of the mayor in case of absence, disability or other reasons.

Hall County to adopt 2014 budget

Commissioners are scheduled to take a final vote on next year’s budget at Thursday’s meeting. County officials have said they’re not anticipating an increase in property taxes for the general fund.

The fire fund millage rate for residents living in the cities, or the incorporated areas of the county, could rise from 3.08 to 3.83. For those living in unincorporated areas, the rate could go from 1.65 to 2.40.

One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value. The county uses 40 percent assessed value. The county plans to build a new fire station and relocate a station.

Development Authority to meet Friday

Members of the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority are scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. Friday at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Agenda items include the refinancing of $14.5 million in bonds Hall County took out in 2008 to buy the South Hall water treatment plant and a marketing plan for the Gateway Industrial Centre. The county is working on road and sewer access to the industrial park. The first tenant, Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network headquarters, has started construction and is expected to finish its building there in August 2014.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

smueller@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/TimesSarahMueller

@SMTheTimes

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