Local leaders will seek grant funding to tie a water line in the Blacks Creek Church Road/Mize Road area in western Madison County to the county’s main system.

The Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority agreed last week to spend $2,000 to the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission (RDC) to assist in applying for a “Community Development Block Grant” (CDGB) to run a water line about 9,200 feet from the Mize Road area to the county’s “60 system” (the term used for its main water system).

The IDA should know if it gets the grant from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) sometime in the spring. The Mize system is a standalone water system with 44 metered customers. Madison County IDA Executive Director Frank Ginn estimated that connecting the Mize are to the county’s main system is about a $200,000 project.

The Mize Road area is currently served by a line from Commerce. That line does not tie on to the county system. Ginn explained the benefits of the line at the Nov. 24 IDA meeting.

“It would do two things; it would give them (the Mize Road area) redundancy if there was interruption from the Commerce supply and it would also enhance fire protection, because you’re feeding the system from two different directions,” he said.

The IDA brings in water from Commerce, Franklin County, Jackson County and Elberton to serve its system. It also has well sources in the county.

Ginn said the Mize Road water quality has some issues. He also said the City of Commerce could be maxed out on water capacity at some point.

“I’m trying to work out something with their (Commerce’s) personnel where we could do a buy or sell to the City of Commerce,” he said. “And that will be important moving forward in the future because Commerce at some point will be maxed out on their water capability and they’re looking long-term. SK battery is going to be about a million gallon a day for them. So it may be if we can work our connections to other suppliers, say the Jackson County water and Sewer Authority, City of Elberton, Franklin County, we may be able to do some things where we become a middle man in that process and it improves the water quality in that area.”

In a separate matter, the IDA agreed to give county water customers 28 days to get their bills mailed in, rather than the typical 15 days. The group agreed to the change after hearing complaints from customers who said bills are not getting to them quickly enough to mail them back within 15 days.

“That (slow mail) has been an issue; we don’t want to burn our bridges with our customers,” said Ginn. “And that would be helpful for them…. We’re not trying to penalize customers.”

The timeframe for water disconnection remains the same, 45 days with no payment.

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