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Cumming agrees to mediation over Sanders Road

POSTED: March 20, 2014 12:03 a.m.

CUMMING — Cumming officials have agreed to enter mediation with Forsyth County over repairs to Sanders Road.

During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the city council voted 4-0, with Councilman Ralph Perry absent, to take the county up on its March 6 offer.

A section of Sanders Road between Buford Dam and Mary Alice Park roads has been closed for months after a May 19 breach of an earthen dam in the area.

The dam contained nearby Lake Alice and its breach sent torrents of water and sediment across Sanders and into a nearby cove of Lake Lanier.

The road has been closed to through traffic since June, and the two governments have struggled to determine how best to share the cost for repairs.

Both entities offered to pay for half of the estimated $173,000 cost to repair the road, but with the stipulation that the other government release it from legal liability in the dam collapse.

“The city is willing to go the extra mile and do whatever is necessary to try and resolve the issue,” Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said.

“It’s an issue that needs to be taken care of and the citizens need that road off Buford Dam and Mary Alice Park Road,” he said. “And we want to do everything we can to resolve it and get the road fixed, as far as the city of Cumming is concerned.”

Now that the parties have agreed to mediation, the next step will be to set a date and time for the procedure, which differs from litigation.

Mediation is a voluntary process that is presided over by a neutral mediator who will attempt to bring both parties to a consensus.

The Sanders issue is separate from the ongoing effort to restore and clean up the affected area, including the Lanier cove, which has involved the city, the Mashburn family and state.


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