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City to discuss water service

Contract negotiations with EWSA planned

POSTED: May 8, 2013 4:00 a.m.

City council members on Monday said they want to renegotiate a longstanding agreement with Etowah Water and Sewer Authority involving service delivery in outlying areas of Dawsonville.

This decision comes less than two weeks after the council discussed terminating the year-to-year agreement, which allows the authority to service areas the city can't reach.

"At this time, before we go straight to terminating the agreement, that we look at engaging Etowah Water with our desires to service our citizens," said Councilman Chris Gaines, who made the motion that received unanimous approval.

Brooke Anderson, Etowah's general manager, said it's good news to hear the city wants to open the lines of communication about the matter.

"I was anticipating they were going to terminate the contract. That was troubling to me, because we simply haven't discussed it," he said. "I was hopeful we would have an opportunity to sit down at the table and see what their goals and desires are. There may be common ground. there may not be common ground. Until we have that discussion, we just don't know."

Mayor James Grogan said the notion to revisit the agreement is an early step in developing a plan to extend services to more city residents.

In recent years, the city has nearly doubled in size due to a wave of annexations on the west side.

"We want the ability to service the customers that are in the city, no matter where they are," Grogan said. "We should be able to furnish sewer and water to all of our citizens."

While still in the planning stages, possible new infrastructure is simply planning for the city's future growth, according to Grogan.

"Right now, our focus has been on the west side of the county, because of potential things that could be happening in that area," he said. "That doesn't mean we couldn't change that process, but it depends strictly on what businesses show up and what is required to get them going."

 

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