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City, authority meet today over dispute
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The city of Dawsonville and the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority plan to huddle today in hopes of burying the hatchet.


A dispute over which entity will provide water to the proposed Atlanta Motorsports Park complex in western Dawson County has stirred dissension for months.


Calvin Byrd, mayor pro-tem, said the city is “hoping to mend any hard feelings.”


The city and authority, which have separate water customers and service areas, have exchanged several letters addressing the divisive issue.


Chairwoman Linda Townley said the authority plans “to listen to [the city’s] issues and requests and take that information back to the board.”


No formal actions can be taken because today’s meeting at the authority’s office is not open to the public.


At least three members from the authority’s board and three from the city council would have to be present for a vote.


Townley, vice chairman Jim King and attorney Linda Dunlavy will represent the authority at the meeting.


On the city’s side, Byrd, Mayor Joe Lane Cox and Attorney Dana Miles will attend.


Byrd said the city is “here to serve our citizens, and [Etowah’s] here to serve their customers.”


“We just want to make sure the citizens and the customers win at the end of the day,” he said.


Officials with the authority moved forward in July with a $2.5 million expansion of water service into northern and western Dawson County.


Contractors soon will put water lines, pumps and a water tower in the area. The expansion efforts would include service to the area of the motorsports park.


The site of the motorsports park and some surrounding property was annexed into the city in 2006.


According to motorsports park construction documents, which city officials approved March 8, a water line running through the property is “proposed by the city of Dawsonville.”


According to Brooke Anderson, the authority’s general manager, the city and authority entered into a contract in 1989 that limits Dawsonville’s water and sewer service area to a boundary that circles its perimeter.


The authority’s service area, he said, lies outside the circle.