Fannin County Water Authority looks to expand services

Community, News

The Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) discussed expansion of their utility services to include the Lake Cove development area. This topic was thoroughly evaluated by board members and consultants at the regular monthly meeting of FCWA held on Aug. 15.

Kurt McCord, Project Engineer with Carter and Sloope, Inc., ran initial fire flow testing for this project on July 27. It was determined from these tests that there is currently enough water pressure on existing lines to adequately supply water in the event of an emergency.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Water Authority, Lake Cove, Rocky Point, Morganton, Expansion, Service Area, Chairwoman, Anita Weaver, Board Member, Angie Arp, Carter and Sloope, Kurt McCord, Project Engineer

FCWA looks to expand service areas and plans for possible future demand.

“When you look at size and lines, you look at two things,” McCord said explaining his findings and offering recommendations to the board. “You look at one, just normal domestic use, and then you look at fire flow.”

McCord explained that in an area such as Lake Cove and Rocky Point that there is not enough development to base the size of the pipes on domestic use, and that the FCWA must look to fire flow to determine the appropriate specifications to move forward.

While the expansion to the Lake Cove area could take place in the foreseeable future, McCord pointed out that now would be the time to go ahead and plan for the possibility of expansion to the Rocky Point area as well.

To be able to expand to Rocky Point, the board would need to plan on installing an 8 inch pipe, rather than the 6 inch pipe needed to just supply Lake Cove. By going ahead with larger capacity piping the FCWA would only have to pay a difference in material costs.

McCord said by being preemptive in this matter, it would cut future costs and added, “If there was more development, these lines would be able to handle that.”

Showing concern of residents following through with water hookup and services, Board Member Angie Arp questioned the limited security a signed letter of intent and inquired about recieving a upfront deposit.

After a brief discussion and careful thought, the board decided that residents wishing to have county water lines run to their area would need to sign a letter of intent and pay a $125.00 fee. This one time fee is per lot where a tap will be placed.

The fee, however, will be deducted from the overall cost to the consumer for water hookup once construction is completed.

The board agreed that there needs be at least 20 residents express interest in the Lake Cove area before the project begins. Estimates for the total number of customers this line will accommodate currently exceeds the minimum requirement of 20.

“This is the kind of project SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) was designed for,” FCWA Chairwoman Anita Weaver stated.

FCWA voted unanimously to move forward with finding the level of interest in the area for this extended line. Surveying and permitting will be the first phase of the project and could take approximately 6 months to complete.

Once surveying and permitting is done, construction can begin.

 

 

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Fannin County Water Authority evaluates customer rates

Community, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Projects continue to make progress as the Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) expands its service area. Two such projects, Dry Branch Road and Blue Bird Road, have been in the works for several months now, and the board received updates on both.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Water Authority, Carter and Sloope, Kurt McCord, Larry Chapman, Anita Weaver, David Falls, Kay Kendall, Water Rates, Residential, Commercial

Blue Bird Road project moves towards completion.

Kurt McCord, a project engineer with Carter & Sloope, Inc., informed the FCWA board that plans for the Dry Branch Road expansion are complete and that all approvals needed for the continuation of Blue Bird Road have been granted. McCord says that the Blue Bird Road project could possibly be complete in two months.

With this expansion comes the need to discuss rates for water customers. FCWA continues to grow and McCord presented the board with recommendations for pricing to its customers.

“We basically looked, really at the neighboring systems, kind of around us, ” McCord said, explaining how the pricing recommendations came about.
By comparing rates of the city of Blairsville, city of Blue Ridge (inside), city of Blue Ridge (outside), Ellijay-Gilmer County Water & Sewer, city of McCaysville, and the city of Morganton, Carter & Sloope came up with a set of prices for FCWA customers.

Fannin County poses a unique set of difficulties when pricing water rates in that many of the homes in the county  are second homes or rental properties, leading to less water use on average than that of full-time residents.

“I think it was wise at the time to adopt a higher base rate,” McCord explained of the proposed numbers, “because I think we have come to find out that they (part-time residents) may only be using 2,500 to 3,000 gallons a month.”

FCWA board member David Falls explained that the rates need to be enough to cover maintenance, employee’s salary, and any other costs associated with providing water to Fannin County residents.

Discussion arose about industry specific pricing. FCWA Vice Chairman Larry Chapman brought this issue to the board’s attention: “If we have chicken houses or something like that, we are going to have to look at a guaranteed minimum usage on something like that.”

Chapman cited that industries such as the chicken houses would likely use county water as a backup system.

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss explained that commercial rates could be broken up into different categories of industry and could also be examined on a case-by-case basis.

“You set the base lines. Then you have to negotiate certain things,” Doss described of providing water for commercial use on a case-by-case basis, “especially while you’re still in the mode of expanding your lines, your overall services.”

Board Member Kay Kendall asked if impact fees were being set aside into a separate account, and suggested that if not, these fees could be put into a separate account for capital improvements.

“Just set aside so that we would know that that is our building fund,” Kendall explained of the need. “Put them in a separate capital improvement account with the idea that in an emergency situation, we could use for operations, but it would require authority approval.”

The board unanimously voted to open a new account for impact fees, with the understanding that the board could approve to use these funds in another area if an emergency need arises.

Chapman suggested a small impact fee be added to residential service. The board unanimously approved these impact fees on residential. The new impact fees would include $25 on 3/4-inch residential water line and $50 for one-inch residential water line.

The board approved the recommendations for water rates in Fannin County with the added impacts fees. Commercial pricing will mimic irrigation pricing.

The board will re-evaluate rates on an annual basis.

 

Monthly Billing:
$38.00 monthly charge (does not include any water)
$5.00 per 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons
$7.00 per 1,000 gallons over 5,000 gallons

Tap Fee:
For 3/4″ Residential Water Line:
Tap Fee: $1,465.00
Impact Fee: $25.00
Deposit: $125.00
Admn. Charge: $35.00
TOTAL: $1,650.00

For 1″ Residential Water Line:
Tap Fee: $1,890.00
Impact Fee: $50.00
Deposit: $200.00
Admin. Charge: $35.00
TOTAL: $2,175.00

Other Fees:
Late Fee: $15.00
Returned Check: $30.00
Disconnection: $50.00
Reconnection: $75.00
After hrs. Restore Service $100.00
Meter Tampering: $150.00
Admin. Fee: $35.00
Hydrant Meter/Bulk Water Purchase:
Deposit: $750.00
Monthly Rental: $50.00
Water Usage: $5.00 / 1,000 gallons

Irrigation:
$38.00 monthly (no water included)
$6.00 / 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons
$8.00 / 1,000 gallons over 5,000 gallons

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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FCWA moves forward with the sale of “Old Quarry Property”

News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) board moved forward with the sale of the “Old Quarry Property” that had been put out for the bidding process in October.

At the Nov. 15 meeting, the FCWA board members opened sealed bids that had been placed on the Old Quarry Property. This property, located on Old Quarry Road, was posted for sale on both the Fannin County Development Authority website and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Economic Development website.

The minimum bid was set at $160,000 with bid increments of $1,000. A winning bid of $276,000 was awarded by the board to T.G.F. Properties.

Fannin County, Georgia, Fannin County Water Authority, FCWA, Zach Ratcliff, Kay Kendall, Old Quarry Property, Development Authority, TVA Economic Development, Anita Weaver, Blue Bird Road, Dry Branch

The property located on Old Quarry Road includes an 8 acre pond.

The responsibility of proceeding with the purchase is now placed on the winning bidder. Chairwoman Anita Weaver explained, “They (T.G.F. Properties) know that they have to close by December 30, and they pay all of the closing costs.”

Weaver also clarified a motion that had been passed in the previous month’s meeting.

According to minutes from the meeting, “A motion was made by Jackie Self to sell the Kubota Excavator for $42,000 and the 2015 Ford Work Truck for $20,000 back to Fannin County and lease them back on an as-needed basis.”

Clarifying that the county had not agreed to purchase the equipment, Weaver stated, “Basically, what we wanted to do was offer it to the county if they were interested in it. I understand that they are not at the present time, interested in either one of the equipment … the truck or the trackhoe.”

If FCWA chooses to move forward with the sale of this equipment, both pieces could be sold through a bidding process.

Progress on the River Crest Lane extension is nearing completion. Representatives from T. Stanco, Inc. reported that water testing would be conducted shortly after the meeting, and that all piping had been installed. Once the samples were deemed acceptable and reported back, meters would be put in place.

Kurt McCord with Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers updated the board on the progress of the Blue Bird Road extension. McCord reported that plans for the project were 70-75 percent complete. A materials inventory list is also near completion and bidding on materials can begin soon.

Once the plans for the Blue Bird Road extension are finalized, the permitting process can begin. That process is expected to take approximately two months. FWCA hopes to start this project by March 2018.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Fannin County Water Authority Opts to Sell Old Quarry Property

News

BLUE RIDGE, GA – The Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) opted to sell land and equipment to fund future projects in our area.

At their regularly scheduled meeting held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, discussions continued about the Blue Bird Road addition and Dry Branch Expansion.

The Blue Bird Road project is currently underway. Plans are being finalized and permits are being obtained to begin construction. The project is estimated to begin in late February or early March of 2018.

Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers were present to discuss possible money saving options with this project. One suggestion that was presented was the possibility of connecting to the Hidden Valley Drive water system. This would eliminate the need for a new Operating Permit.

Board members also voted to move forward with expansion in the Dry Branch area. This project is estimated to cost $200,000 and the funds are currently available through SPLOST.

In an executive session the Board voted on the sale of equipment to the county, with the option of leasing it back from the county on an as needed basis. Board member Zach Ratcliff abstained from voting on this matter.

Fannin County, Georgia, Fannin County Water Authority, FCWA, Zach Ratcliff, Kay Kendall, Old Quarry Property, Development Authority, TVA Economic Development, Anita Weaver, Blue Bird Road, Dry Branch

The property located on Old Quarry Road includes an 8 acre pond.

The county is expected to purchase a 2015 work truck for a price of $20,000 and a Kubota Excavator for $42,000.

Ratcliff noted that the excavator was purchased to complete the Riverwalk project and is no longer needed.

Board member Kay Kendall explained that, “FCWA is moving away from doing our own construction.”

It was also unanimously decided in the executive session that FCWA will sell their land known as “The Old Quarry Property.”

This property, located on Old Quarry Road, is posted for sale on both the Fannin County Development Authority website, and the TVA Economic Development website.

The minimum bid is set at $160,000 with bid increments of $1,000.

FCWA asks that the following instruction be followed in order for successful bids to be considered:

All bids are to be received no later than 4:30 PM on November 14, 2017. Bids are to be submitted to the Fannin County Water Authority, 400 West Main, Suite 101 B, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513 and are to be clearly marked as “Property bid” so the same will not be opened with general mail. Bids will be opened in the “old business” section of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Fannin County Water Authority on Wednesday November 15, 2017, which meeting is held in the Fannin County Courthouse, Commissioners’ Conference Room, located at 400 West Main Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513, commencing at 2:00 PM. The successful bidder should be prepared to provide proof of funds within ten business days of being notified as to being the successful bid; and to close no later than noon on December 29, 2017. All closing costs to be paid by the successful bidder. Any questions, should be directed to Anita Weaver, Fannin County Water Authority Chairman at 706-632-4503.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Ratcliff Opts Out of Pay

Community, News

BLUE RIDGE, GA – The Fannin County Water Authority convened on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at the Fannin County Courthouse.

Following the call to order, Chairwoman of the Water Authority Anita Weaver took the opportunity to clarify last month’s vote on compensation for board members and chairpersons. She stated that they “talked to several different surrounding counties and communities to see how they do it,” and, ultimately, the decision was made to pay a flat rate each month versus reimbursement for expenses turned in.

Fannin County Water Authority, Anita Weaver, Larry Chapman, Ed Hawkins, Zach Ratcliff, service area

Fannin County Water Authority holds meeting to discuss service area.

This flat rate would be $100.00 per month to each board member and $150.00 to the chair. Out of town expenses are the exception to this new payment plan and would be reimbursed after verification of expenses.

Board member Zach Ratcliff, Fannin County Public Works Director, opted out of receiving payments stating that he “is already on the payroll of the County” and felt it would be in conflict.

FCWA has been working with cities throughout the county to update and define service areas.  A map was presented of the final outlines for review. Members of the FCWA unanimously voted on approval of the new outlines.

Clearly defining the service area will allow different entities to have first right of refusal in new developments. This map will also allow for standards voted on by FCWA to be in place before offering service to any particular area.

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

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