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Saturday August 29th, 2015 3:21AM

Commissioners to consider second sewer rate proposal

By Bill Johnson
GAINESVILLE -- Hall County Commissioners now have a second rate proposal for South Hall sewer customers to be considered before Thursday's regular Board of Commissioners meeting.

Last week, commissioners reviewed a plan that called for a $2.00 customer service charge, $15.00 fixed operating cost and an additional $3.50 per ccf. One ccf is equal to 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons. At the time, a cap of 10 ccf was also being considered,

Phyllis Mercer, a Deaton Creek resident and an outspoken opponent of the plan called it unfair to low-volume users, and about 600 South Hall residents signed a petition siding with Mercer.

At the request of Commissioner Billy Powell, Public Works and Utilities Director Ken Rearden offered an alternative plan at Monday's work session. The latest proposal calls for a $2 customer service charge, $4 capacity charge and $6 per ccf with no cap.

Mercer thanked Powell and Rearden for listening to area residents.

"We are pleased today that there appears to be a willingness to have listened to us and to pursue a second rate methodology," she said. "In regard to the second alternative Ken talked about, it certainly is a better alternative and more acceptable than the original proposal."

Now commissioners will have to decide which plan is best.

"It's up to the commissioners," Rearden said. "We have to get the system to pay for itself. The higher volume users will support the first proposal and the low-volume users will support this one."

Whichever rate is approved will become effective Jan. 1.

Hall County operates the Spout Springs Water Reclamation Facility in Flowery Branch which services Sterling on the Lake, Reunion, Village at Deaton Creek, Flowery Branch High School and Spout Springs School of Enrichment.

Riverbrook Village plan tabled

Commissioners were also scheduled to review plans for Riverbrook Village, a long-simmering rezoning issue the Planning Commission recommended for approval recently. The issue was tabled until Jan. 24 at the request of Robbie Robison, one of the owners.

The 2006 plan called for an 82-acre development with 45 upscale townhomes at the intersection of Thompson Bridge and Price roads. But Robison and co-owner Steve McKibbon have asked to modify the original request to replace the townhomes with a 288-unit apartment complex.

After protests from residents in nearby Walnut Grove subdivision, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the request, but with only 200 units.
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