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Pigeon Creek residents propose a change
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The residents of Pigeon Creek Estates presented a petition last week to the Dawsonville City Council that states their intention to convert their water system from the city of Dawsonville to Etowah Water and Sewer Authority.

Jim Watson, a resident and representative for the neighborhood off Shoal Creek Road, told the council that after meeting with councilmembers, as well as holding multiple homeowners meetings, that the neighborhood needed an alternative.

"Everybody is aware we have had issues with our water, nothing new," Watson said to the council on Aug. 1.

"As an alternative, to save money for the city we have found an alternative. The alternative is Etowah Water and Sewer."

Watson went on to say that it is not a reflection of the city government or those who have worked on the well.

After Watson presented the petition, Mayor James Grogan thanked him and told Watson the council would take it under advisement.

According to officials, the city of Dawsonville and the authority would have to both agree to make the change happen.

"Pursuant to the ‘Service Delivery Area agreement,' the city and Etowah agreed to, both must accept," said City Manager David Headley.

The current water issues date back to 2009 when residents in the neighborhood began reporting that the well water in the neighborhood had a sulfuric odor.

Though tests indicated the presence of iron bacteria, experts concluded there was no issue for the safety or health of residents.

Improper installation of the well's pump was deemed to be a contributor to the odor and in the interim, the city has supplied water to the neighborhood via alternative wells, springs and incremental Etowah, according to Headley's report during June's city council meeting.

"They shut down the well 8-10 weeks ago. We have always been searching for an alternative, so this is our alternative," said Colleen Simrell, a resident of Pigeon Creek Estates.

When the development was first under construction, Etowah Water did not have lines in the area, according to Etowah Water and Sewer Authority General Manager Brooke Anderson.

Five years ago, a line was put in up Hwy. 136 to Shoal Creek Road.

"They are in the service area we have with the city. It's kind of an unusual outlier," Anderson said.

"We are agreeable and would love to serve that community. We have had conversations with residents," he said. "We are not going to get in the middle of a disagreement between them and the city. We need a letter from the city to move forward."

Anderson said once the authority received a letter from the city, the board would have to approve it. If approved, Etowah would move ahead with drawing up plans, getting bids and moving forward.

"We have a good relationship with the city and don't want to jeopardize that," Anderson said.

"All this boils down to is, I want good water," Simrell said.

The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority had a scheduled work session for Aug. 9. Details from that meeting were not available as of press time.

The Dawsonville City Council's next regular meeting will be at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 at city hall.