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Water Authority Approves Deadline Extension For Sells Lane Property

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

The Dade County Water and Sewer Authority granted the Dade County Board of Commissioners an extension to the March deadline that was set regarding a decision about the Sells Lane property.

During the authority’s January meeting, they voted to set the deadline, for the county to determine what they wanted to do with the property that was originally jointly purchased by the Water Authority and the county to be used as a water reservoir.

In November of last year, a public meeting was held in which the Water Authority informed the county that they were backing out of the project.

During that meeting, the authority formally requested that the county take over control of the property by assuming the remaining debt. The Water Authority put in 80 percent of the money and the county put in 20 percent for the purchase, which was $500,000 total. The authority has still been making payments on the property.

The authority received a letter from County Executive Ted Rumley. The letter reads in part, “Although the Board of Commissioners continues to feel that this tract is the most suitable site for such a reservoir, we understand your position on this matter and will work with you to terminate your involvement.”

The letter continues, “We have contacted GEFA (Georgia Environmental Finance Authority) regarding the terms of the loan used to partially finance this project, and it is our understanding that this project is to be considered by GEFA at its meeting in May. The Board of Commissioners requests your assistance in taking such actions as may be needed to amend the project documents, and it is further requested that the deadline for the Board of Commissions to take formal action on this matter be extended until May 31, 2022.”

“I appreciate them working with us. The GEFA meeting is sometime in early May, so we will know more then,” Chair Eddie Cantrell said.

Also, during the meeting it was noted that the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund grant requests for two projects were not selected.

The Water Authority had requested grant funding for Lookout Mountain water main upgrades and for a raw water intake screen system.

“There was over $500,000 awarded in grants, and there was like $2.2 billion requested. There were more people that did not receive money, then did. It’s not great news, but it is what it is. There were just too many requests and not enough money,” Cantrell said.

An update was also given on the USDA projects. Water main upgrades are finished, but erosion control work, and final repairs still need to be completed. A large meter replacement is in progress. Demolition at the Sand Mountain Pump Station is 99 percent complete. The next phase of the Sand Mountain pump station project is instillation of pumps, motors and piping. Site restoration at both the Hooker and Lookout water storage tanks is in progress. Construction is complete for the Emergency Community Assistance Water Grant project, and all that is left is surface restoration, installation of a gate, and the removal of old fencing.

Elizabeth Zeller presented the financial report. Total income for the month of February was $324,797.73. Total expenses for the month were $247,030.76. There were 6,444 payments processed and 289 work orders processed. There were 143 line locates, 15 water main leaks repaired, and one tap installed.

The next Water and Sewer Authority meeting is April 26.

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