CUMMING — The Forsyth County Development Authority has decided to move forward with plans for a potential addition to the new county courthouse in downtown Cumming.
For the past few months, the authority has discussed the possibility of using some fees it receives from businesses to fund construction of a water fountain at the entrance to the five-story courthouse, which is slated for completion by early 2015.
The authority took an official vote during its regular meeting on Thursday morning to take steps to ensure the fountain project will be completed.
Citing the need to install the appropriate infrastructure, Chairman David Seago said the authority needed to take formal action on the project, which will include a 40-foot, curved fountain outside the entrance at a cost of about $130,000.
However, Seago said that infrastructure would cost more than originally anticipated. Due to the chemicals needed to keep it clear of algae and other microorganisms, a fountain cannot drain into standard storm or sanitary sewer. As a result, a special drainage and septic system is required.
“But I have been assured that $19,000 is the worst-case scenario [for the system], so hopefully it won’t be that much,” Seago said.
Former authority chairman Bobby Thomas, who floated the idea of adding the fountain, made a motion to go ahead and have builders plan for the special drainage system.
In the meantime, other options that could cut down on costs — such as possibly using different, safer additives in the fountain — will continue to be explored.
Authority members have been looking to work with local civic groups, including Rotary clubs, on the project, which will also include decorative benches around the fountain.
Thomas suggested having Rotarians help pay for the additional costs of the fountain and have businesses or other groups sponsor the benches.
“I have faith we can come up with the money,” he said. “But if we don’t put in the septic to start with, it doesn’t matter.”