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Money flows in for city water work
Aid will go to Dahlonega Hwy. plant
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Forsyth County News
The city of Cumming will receive about $1.19 million in federal assistance to shore up its water system infrastructure.

The money, part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, includes a $475,000 grant and $712,000 loan.

Cumming Utilities Director Jon Heard said the funding will be used on the city’s drinking water treatment facility on Dahlonega Highway.

The facility’s treatment process clumps together silt, mud and other particles, which then sink to the bottom of the plant’s basins.

The problem, Heard said, is every two months the department has to “take a portion of the water treatment plant offline to drain the tanks and wash all the sludge out.”

The new system will collect the sludge every 15 minutes, allowing the plant to always stay at full operation, Heard said.

Funding for the project, along with 21 others across the state, was approved by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. The plan covers about $41 million for improvements.

The city is receiving about $1.19 million, nearly $712,000 of which must be paid back within 20 years at a 3 percent interest rate.

Bids for the project opened Thursday, though it awaits city council approval next month.

If approved, the six-month project could start as early as October. Heard said that timing would be ideal for minimizing the impact of construction, since water demand drops during winter.

State legislators, including District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton and District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy,  were among supporters of the proposal.

Heard was not surprised the city received the funding.

“We were notified early on that our project was high up on the priority list that the state EPD had devised,” he said.