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Requested $31 million grant could help extend water lines into these areas of Dawson County
Etowah grant
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Dawson County’s government will help utility partner Etowah Water and Sewer Authority apply for a $31 million grant to go toward a drinking water project to support the growing population, county manager David Headley told the Board of Commissioners at the Sept. 1 work session.

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This money would come from a no-match American Rescue Plan Act State Fiscal Recovery Funds grant, said Headley, adding that “no match” means nothing financially would have to come from the county. 

Rather, the water and sewer authority would provide $3,137,931, about a 10% match to the total grant request of $31,379,307, said EWSA General Manager Brooke Anderson to DCN.

Anderson explained that the potential project would focus on extending water lines and replacing some components with upsized ones to accommodate future and near-term growth.

If awarded, the grant funds would be used to extend water lines past station 8 into the Sweetwater Juno area as well as on Etowah River Road near Ga. 53. 

Water lines would also be extended along Ga. 400 in the Grizzle Road area and on Ga. 400 North approaching Ga. 136, Anderson said. 

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk said that the water line extensions would also mean the addition of over 200 fire hydrants, which would be helpful for the county’s ISO rating. 

“On one hand, we’re addressing the immediate need presented by the growth in the county,” Anderson said of the project. “But it is also sized to support the county for decades to come.”

Anderson elaborated that their intentions with the grant money match EWSA’s 2016 water master plan and that these water main extensions should help accommodate growth in Dawson County “for the next 40 years.”

The grant application doesn’t require a vote, but he wanted to inform the board, since the application deadline for the grant is Sept. 9, Headley added.

As the governing body, the county will have to apply for the funds, Neikirk said.

Should Dawson County receive the grant, EWSA will approach the board and request a memorandum of understanding, she added. The county commissioners would then have to vote to accept the measure.