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City will buy land from corps
Property needed for pipeline
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Forsyth County News
The city of Cumming’s checkbook will get some use in the near future, starting with a $231,000 payment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The money is for an easement that will be used to run a 78-inch pipeline for the city’s new water intake structure. The pipeline will extend 3,000 feet into Lake Lanier, allowing the city to withdraw water from as deep as 1,020 feet above sea level.

“In order to do this ... we had to work with the Corps of Engineers to obtain an easement,” Utilities Department Dir-
ector Jon Heard told the council Tuesday night. “That easement is approximately 10.5 to 11 acres of permanent property that we’ll have control over.”

Following council approval, Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt noted the money would come from the city’s water and sewer fund.

“This is an extra fee we knew we’d have to pay,” Gravitt said. “We don’t have a choice but to pay this.

“Usually the corps is a lot slower in getting things to you.”

In other developments at Tuesday night’s meeting:

• The council agreed to fund a $15,000 comprehensive plan update. The money will go to Jerry Weitz & Associates Inc. for their professional planning services. The plan, last updated in 2003, is a state requirement through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Gravitt said.

• Since the January council meeting, Gravitt has signed an agreement with the state to build a new Department of Driver Services facility.

City Administrator Gerald Blackburn said the architect will be the Howell Group, which is also designing the nearby aquatic center.

The driver services building, which will sit on 5 acres off Pilgrim Mill Road, replaces the existing 1,500-square-foot facility on County Way in north Forsyth.

“We think we’ve done a great deed for the citizens of Cumming and Forsyth County to have a local place to go to get their driver’s licenses ... so this will be hopefully beneficial for a long, long time to come for the citizens,” Gravitt said.

• The city is nearly finished working on a contract to start construction of the aquatic center, a complex the mayor said the city will be “proud of for years to come.”

The contract is in the lawyer’s hands, said Gravitt, noting its expected to be signed by the end of the week. If so, construction could start within the next two months.

Officials hope to open the center later this year.

E-mail Jennifer Sami at