Wednesday November 25th, 2015 1:27PM

Hall Commission votes to skip Lula sewer

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
GAINESVILLE - Despite a warning from Lula Mayor Milton Turner Monday that a Hall County built sewer plant to serve the Highway 365 Gateway Industrial park would cost more than tying into Lula's plant, Commissioners Thursday night voted 4-1 to build their own plant.

The motion came from Billy Powell to suspend negotiations with Lula and pursue a treatment facility that would be designed and built to the county's own standards and under the county's direction. The plant would discharge into the North Oconee River.

Commissioners decided that after six months of amendment negotiations on a seven year old agreement with Lula, there were too many differences that put the county at a disadvantage. Powell said Lula could control sewer rates to offset its own financial challenges.He added that a county built plant, costing around $8-million, would better meet the sewer basins needs and could be built in stages. The plant would be paid for with SPLOST funds, sewer tap fees and other financing options.

Hall County still owns 100,000 gallons of sewer capacity in Lula's sewer plant, which can be used for future growth in other parts of North Hall.That capacity was purchased for $1.5 million and has already been paid for in full per the County's 2006 Intergovernmental Agreement with Lula.

The Gateway Industrial Park would initially require 500,000 gallons of sewer capacity and Hall County would have to purchase another 400,000 gallons from the City of Lula for $7.9 million, in addition to upgrading Lula's transmission lines and pump stations for another $2 million, bringing the total cost to the County to approximately $11.4 million.

"It would save millions dollars considering what it would take to buy additional capacity from the City of Lula and what we would have to pay to upgrade their transmission lines and pump stations to service Gateway site," Powell added.

Commissioners Jeff Stowe, Craig Lutz and Scott Gibbs each said they would support Powell's motion. Public Works Director Ken Reardon, when asked for input, listed several unresolved 'sticking points' between the county and Lula.

Commission Chairman Dick Mecum cast the only no vote, voicing the hope that 'one more shot' could be taken to resolve differences and form a sewer agreement with Lula.

"It boils down to Hall County needing a sewer and we need it fast and Lula has that sewer," Mecum said. "Lula needs financing; they have situations financially with that sewer. They need customers, they need revenue and Hall County has that."


Commissioners voted to bypass their purchasing department's recommended bid for construction of the new fire stations, Station (3) and Station (16), and approve the lower bid from Charles Black Construction Company of Cleveland, Georgia.

Black's Bid of $2.7-million sounded a lot better to Commissioner Scott Gibbs than the bid of just over $2.8-million from an Athens firm, Kevin Price General Contractors. Gibbs made the motion for the lower cost.

"It's just hard for me to spend an additional $200, 000," Gibbs said. "I know we have a rating system but Charles Black has performed well in the past so I feel like we should go with the cheaper bid."

The vote to approve the lower bid was unanimous after commissioners said they reviewed the bid rankings and determined Charles Black actually scored higher with bid committee members.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Medicaid growth creates gap of 5M without coverage; 409K in Ga.
About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.
7:30AM ( 1 year ago )
Vandals spray graffiti against Kerry in West Bank
Suspected Jewish vandals set fire to three vehicles in a West Bank village early on Tuesday and sprayed threatening graffiti referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his expected visit to the region, police said.
7:28AM ( 1 year ago )
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Man faces charges in Hall subdivision home invasion
A 20-year-old Gainesville man faces charges in an early September home invasion in Hall County.
12:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Police probe killing after man found dead inside Lawrenceville home
Police are investigating the killing of a man whose body was found inside a home in the Lawrenceville area outside Atlanta.
By Associated Press
12:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
US sales of new homes rise 10.7 percent in October, propelled by buying in Northeast
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes recovered in October after suffering a steep drop in September, returning to this year's trend of an improving market for real estate developers and builders.The C...
11:06AM ( 2 hours ago )
Overnight fire damages home
An early morning fire damaged a double wide mobile home Wednesday, according to Hall County Fire Services officials.
8:39AM ( 4 hours ago )
To grandmother's house: Thanksgiving getaway begins with gas prices low, terrorism fears high
LOS ANGELES (AP) — That other Thanksgiving tradition — congested highways and jammed airports — is getting underway with gas prices low and terrorism fears high.An estimated 46.9 million Americans are...
7:31AM ( 5 hours ago )