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Former sewer plant that drew Forsyth Countys interest sold in parks deal

JOHNS CREEK — The city council in neighboring Johns Creek has authorized the purchase of about 133 acres, including a former sewer plant Forsyth County once considered buying, for parks and recreation at a cost of about $20.3 million.

According to a news release from the city, the purchase price amounted to about $152,500 per acre from Cauley Creek Water Reclamation LLC, which will maintain the plant for one year.

The Cauley Creek Water Reclamation Plant is not in use and Johns Creek officials will weigh its future.

The property, which is on the city’s east side, is bordered by Cauley Creek on the west and Rogers Bridge Trail and the proposed Rogers Bridge connection to Duluth on the east.  

It has access from Bell Road and has nearly 2,000 feet of frontage along the Chattahoochee River, according to the city.

The final park site plan has not been determined, and the public will have input into the final park layout.

In 2013, the Forsyth County commission considered buying the Cauley Creek sewer plant before deciding instead to build the Shakerag Water Reclamation Facility for nearly $29 million.

At the time, officials said building a sewer plant in Forsyth was a better long-term proposition.

The Cauley Creek facility had been operating under contract with Fulton County until 2012, when that government terminated its agreement.

The Johns Creek deal reportedly aligns with the top recommendation from the city’s draft recreation and parks strategic plan, which was to acquire at least one 100-plus acre tract. 

In a statement, Mayor Mike Bodker hailed the decision.

“This large tract of land provides the city additional park space, and will add to the high quality of life,” he said. “The public has said loud and clear that adding park space … is a high priority.”