Hoschton to ask businesses again to help fund sewer line
BY KERRI TESTEMENT
It’ll be another round of Hoschton leaders asking some of its businesses to fund a new sewer line to the city’s industrial area.
Monday night, the Hoschton City Council agreed to ask businesses that would benefit from a new sewer line along Ga. Hwy. 53 from Jopena Blvd. to Nancy Industrial to help fund the project.
It’s a proposal that city leaders asked those businesses to consider just a few months ago.
In February, the city council approved a low bid of $118,000 from Dale Construction Company to install the sewer line to the city’s industrial area.
However, the council also said it needed half of the project costs $59,000 from those businesses within 45 days to install the sewer line.
And when the city only received $35,000 by the deadline, the council opted to drop the project in April.
But a renewed interest from businesses for the project encouraged the Hoschton City Council to try again. Council members also said the $118,000 bid was a bargain.
“It’s a very good price,” said council member Richard Green. “It’s never going to be lower. It’s going to be higher.”
The city is asking those businesses to write checks for $5,000 as a prepayment tap fee within 30 days. This time, however, the council decided not to stick to the 50 percent match requirement. The council will discuss its progress with the project at its July meeting.
Council members on Monday also considered funding the remaining portion of the project.
“The funds are there, but it would put us in a tight situation if something else comes up in the year,” mayor Bill Copenhaver said.
Council member Tom Walden said funding more than 50 percent of the project may drain the city’s reserve funds.
City planned Wistar Harmon said Hoschton has lost business opportunities due to the lack of sewer service in the industrial area. Companies in the industrial area use septic tanks.
“I think it’ll be a big boost to our industrial area,” Copenhaver said on Thursday.
In other business, the Hoschton City Council:
•met in a closed-door session for seven minutes to discuss “pending or potential litigation.” The council took no action when the meeting was opened to the public.
•approved the amended 2008 budget.
•declared a pall membrane system at the city’s wastewater treatment plant as surplus property. Council member Green said the plant doesn’t need the system to meet its new sewer discharge permit. Hoschton paid about $300,000 for the pall membrane system, he said.
•approved a bid by Oconee Well Drillers, Watkinsville, to drill a second city well near the West Jackson Park. The council approved up to $25,000 to drill to 600 feet in depth to find water. The city will also have to fund equipment for the well. Council member Green said the city’s first well is saving Hoschton money. The city has been purchasing less water from the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority.
•approved a conditional use permit to allow New Community, a Christian church, to relocate to a 26,000 square-foot building on Ga. Hwy. 53. The city’s zoning ordinance doesn’t allow churches in commercial or industrial zoning districts, except for special use permits. The church has been meeting at West Jackson Primary School. The council said the church’s move to the facility won’t affect stores in the area potentially selling alcoholic beverages, as the building’s front door is far enough from other properties.
•reconsidered a previous decision to close Mill Street in the city’s cemetery, except during funerals. A gate is located at the Broad Street entrance, where the council said exiting traffic had limited visibility. Citizens voiced their concerns about closing the street and limiting access to their property and maintaining gravesites. The council decided to designate Mill Street as a one-way street from Broad Street to Cabin Drive, through the cemetery.
•held the first reading of ordinances for loitering and motorized cars. The motorized car ordinance, which follows a similar one in Peachtree City, would require that such vehicles be registered with the city for a fee. It would also designate where those vehicles could be driven in the city limits. The ordinances will be discussed at the July council meeting.
•adopted a panhandling ordinance.
•heard from mayor Copenhaver, who said the Hoschton Fall Festival is getting a lot of attention. The city recently announced that it will seek a Guinness World Record to have the most scarecrows in one location, as part of the fall festival. Copenhaver said the festival has landed two major sponsors, but is still seeking a sponsor for the scarecrow event. The fall festival will be held Sept. 26-27. The city is also seeking volunteers for the event.