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New $16 million water plant plan gets green light
by Joan Durbin
October 24, 2012 01:07 PM | 1800 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With no discussion, Roswell city council members on Monday unanimously approved a conceptual plan that will replace the city’s existing municipal water treatment plant and upgrade capacity.

The plant will be able to hold three million gallons of water daily. The plan includes a 10 million gallon raw water storage tank.

Two recreation and parks buildings will be relocated and accommodations will be made for several parking spaces displaced by storage tank location.

The plan also includes replacement maintenance yard space for equipment and materials for both water resources and recreation and parks departments.

Base project cost is $15.3 million. Overall cost, including the mitigation efforts to lessen the impact of the facility on the surrounding area, is expected to be $16.2 million, said Stu Moring, Roswell’s public works/environmental director.

The city will apply for a loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to pay for the project and pay it back from the city water and sewer enterprise fund. No tax dollars will be used on the plan, Moring said. “This is all paid for from the water fund, which is a proprietary fund that is the only source of revenue for the city system.”

In making the motion to approve the plan, Councilman Kent Igleheart noted the design should leave a bluff overlooking Big Creek as undisturbed as possible.

“I’m not supportive of this concept as is, but hopefully we can make some changes,” he said. As part of his motion he directed staff to “do everything possible” to keep the bluff from being built on.

The city hopes to have a design consultant approved in December and a final design ready in January, with construction to begin in February.

Not everyone was on board with the plan. Resident Janet Russell told council she thought a municipal water plant was unnecessary and Roswell customers all could get water from Fulton County.

A new plant would serve only a fraction of the citizenry, she said.

“For 20 percent of the population you want to spend $16 million,” Russell said.

She did not want to leave the microphone at the end of the allotted speaking time of five minutes. Mayor Jere Wood called a police officer to escort her from the podium, but Russell left on her own.

Afterward, Wood said he didn’t want the city to be dependent on Fulton County for water.

“When someone has a monopoly and there’s no competition, all prices rise. If we have our own system, we stay in the game,” he said.
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Lee Fleck
October 25, 2012
Water Plant $16 Million Loan Request Approved in Stealth

"While you were watching the debate Monday night, Roswell voted without your input to drop $16.1 million more debt on the shoulders of their water customers, oh and this has nothing to do with the other $14.7 they want from you on Nov. 6.

Are Roswell’s water customers ready to shoulder almost $30 million in less than two weeks from the Roswell Government?"

Here are the basic facts:

No cost analysis has ever been performed by the City or any City contractors to determine how the new loan for this water plant will be repaid. Having requested ROI analysis since the Water System Master Plan was issued in July 2010, I can tell you that none Exists.

No one from the City has visited a single operating water plant designed by the outside consultants to verify operating cost estimates.

The $900,000 annual cost of the bond on this plant is, according to the City, is going to be repaid by undocumented cost decreases and only $72,000 per year in additional revenue from current water customers. The numbers don't add up.

Roswell currently charges 22 percent-150 percent more for residential customers than Fulton County.

Even though the City used the 2010 Comprehensive Governors Water Taskforce report to justify this unnecessary project, they chose to completely ignore 2 of the 3 funding sources recommended by the Taskforce.

The City has not conducted, or even attempted to conduct, a single meeting with Atlanta-Fulton County Water Authority to negotiate a long term water deal to eliminate the need for a new plant.

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