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Waiting on water
County won’t re-up contract with city yet
county water plant 3 jd
This pipe connects to a raw water storage tank that hold 20 million gallons of untreated water from Lake Lanier. - photo by Jim Dean
Other business

Also Tuesday, the Forsyth County commission voted 5-0 to approve the following:

• A memo of understanding with the Forsyth County Public Library. It outlines the duties of the library board of trustees, library services provided to the county and financial support.

• A contract for about $57,438 with BRI Utility to run conduit to 14 county-owned sites, including fire stations and parks. The project will upgrade a metro ethernet connection with the county network.

• An agreement with the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, also known as the Joint Public Safety and Judicial Facility Authority for the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek, that will route 911 calls to the proper jurisdiction.

The prospect of renewing the current contract with the city of Cumming for water and sewer services didn’t wash with most of the Forsyth County commission.

As a result, the board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to hold a work session in August to discuss a counter proposal.

Before that decision was made, Commissioner Brian Tam cast the only vote in favor of renewing the current contract, which would last 15 years.

“We know that we will not have another source of water by the time the current contract that we are in expires,” Tam said.

“[The contract] still protects us financially by not exceeding these stair stepping prices we’ve experienced over the past 15 years and allows us something that we really don’t have right now, which is the ability to sell any extra water to any other municipalities who might want it.”

Under the current contract, the county buys 4.5 million gallons of water per day from the city.

But in the future, Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said later, the county may not need that much water from the city. The county is pursuing other options, including the ability to draw water from the Chattahoochee River.

Laughinghouse said he’d rather consider a shorter contract, such as one that lasts five years.

“Their proposal is apparently as it was two years ago or three years ago, which is to keep the status quo,” Laughinghouse said. “I think that we need to go back to them with a counter proposal.”

He said the proposal would include input from the county attorney and water and sewer department staff.

The board could then set up a meeting with the city to discuss options.