County will expand water next year with American Rescue Plan

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – In discussions for the spending of funds from the American Rescue Plan, Gilmer County’s Board of Commissioners heard a proposal from the Ellijay Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority (EGCWSA) to utilize funds for the Roundtop Road area of the county to extend water lines to the Pickens-Gilmer line.

Water has already reached part of the area. EGCWSA Director Gary McVey spoke in the October Commissioner’s Meeting about the project, saying that the plan was to from the end of the current water line all they way down Roundtop Road.

McVey stated that a majority of calls requesting city water come from this area currently. He noted that the well water in the area has high iron content.

Adding to the project, McVey said he wanted to treat the new line exactly like the last project in the area with the funds paying for the meter installation and even the tie-ons between a meter and a house. It was stated that the EGCWSA Board might reduce impact fees for citizens, but McVey did not say it would negate them. He noted that this would be a board decision that would have to be made. Additionally, the project also looks to make water more readily available in emergencies, aiding in fire protection along the way.

The cost of the project is estimated at $1 million.

As opposed to other projects approved recently, such as the county’s hazard pay for employees, this project will not be put into motion until next year with the second round of the American Rescue Plan funds.

The county has been discussing projects and is continuing to pursue them, however, waiting until the next round of funding will allow the county to go forward with its plans and allow the EGCWSA to begin plans and preparations for the new project before 2022. The official motion came for a resolution to approve the project and reserve the upcoming funds for it.

The county already saw its first opposition and support for the project in the same meeting as citizens wishing to speak portion. With one citizen asking for a rebate for water filters he has had to buy in his area of the county for the same iron issues.

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