Wednesday, September 16, 1998
Fayette County officials will make their case for a new water tank at Ga.Highway 92 and Lee's Mill Road to the people most affected by the tank... its neighbors.
The county Water Committee has set a meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room, County Administrative Complex, to give its reasons for wanting to build a 2 million-gallon tank on seven tenths of an acre next to an existing 500,000-gallon tank.
Residents of the New Hope community surrounding the site have been vocal in their opposition to the site, saying that two water tanks on the one corner will be an eyesore in their community. They also have supported the claims of David Williams, who lives next to the site and says that the land the county has chosen is his land.
County officials have produced deeds showing that the county bought the land in 1894, but Williams has later deeds that show the opposite. A Fayette Superior Court judge ruled that the land belongs to the county, but an appeal is pending in Georgia Supreme Court.
During a recent County Commission meeting, residents wearing stickers showing a water tank with a red circle and slash left no doubt about their sentiments.
Harry Davis, a resident of Breckenridge II subdivision near the intersection of tank site, urged commissioners to meet with homeowners and discuss the project, and commissioners recently agreed, giving the Water Committee permission to conduct public meetings..
About 150 residents attended a recent rally at Hopeful Community Center to express their frustration with the ownership issue as well as the choice of site for the water tank.
County attorney Bill McNally said the site is the best one for a new tank for the same reason that it was the best site for the existing tank it's on a hill at the right spot to serve growing numbers of customers. He added that an alternate site that has been discussed would be even less palatable to the neighbors right in the middle of Breckenridge subdivision.
The tank is needed to serve the growing population of north Fayette, he said.
Davis said he understands the county needs more water storage space, but said Hopeful residents don't want to see an even larger water tank put next to one that they already consider an eyesore.
"We have a subdivision which is directly behind there, and I have concerns that it will have an effect [on property values]," he said.
County manager Billy Beckett said officials want to meet with the residents and provide information. "Let them compile some questions relative to the issue of the tank and give us the opportunity to respond factually to the concerns that are there," he suggested.
Commissioner Glen Gosa, chairman of the commission's water committee, said the tank project is essential to help supply Fayette's water needs. "It could very well affect people's water supply in a very short period of time," he said.
Water officials will make a general presentation Tuesday night, and then the meeting will break up into smaller groups with experts who will answer more specific questions.