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Commissioners OK septage receiving program, push forward with Greenleaf subdivision restoration
FCN Forsyth County Administration Building

At a work session on Tuesday, Feb. 8, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a septage receiving program at the Fowler Water Reclamation Facility, allowing septage from Forsyth County residences to be treated.

Commissioners also voted to approve a first amended memorandum of understanding between the Land Bank Authority to continue the process of cleaning up the Greenleaf subdivision.

Both items were approved with a unanimous vote, 5-0.


Septage receiving program

Barry Lucas, Department of Water and Sewer director, said that Forsyth County does not have a place for haulers to dispose of septage, and businesses have had to drive to counties like DeKalb to dispose of the waste.

“When haulers pump [the septage] out, there’s nowhere currently that the county has to dispose of it,” Lucas said. “So, this is a program to give them a place to dispose of it.”

Steve Ratzlaff, deputy director of the Forsyth County Department of Water and Sewer, said a septage receiving station was constructed at the Fowler Water Reclamation Facility in the latest capacity expansion as part of the new headworks facility.

Through the septage receiving program, only septage from Forsyth County residences would be allowed to be dumped at the facility and industrial wastes, fats, oils and grease are prohibited.

Any septage generated outside the county will not be accepted, and the total septage volume received daily will be monitored so that the amount does not “adversely impact the treatment process.”

An annual hauler registration would be required for businesses to participate in the program, and the fee for the registration will be $50.

A fee of $100 per 1,000 gallons of septage will also be applied to haulers participating in the program.

“This helps the guys that pump tanks,” District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent said. “Not having to go to DeKalb County, it allows them to get back to customers up here sooner.”

The motion to approve the septage receiving program at the Fowler Water Reclamation Facility carried with a 5-0 vote.

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Recent legal developments have cleared the way for Forsyth County to raze the abandoned Greenleaf subdivision, shown here in summer 2013. Work stopped on the neighborhood in 2006. - photo by FCN file photo

Land Bank Authority

Commissioners also considered two requests from County Manager Kevin Tanner concerning the Land Bank Authority, a group formed between officials of Forsyth County and the city of Cumming to clean up the abandoned Greenleaf subdivision off Anderson Lake Road.

“It is a subdivision that has been basically not able to be used,” Tanner said. “Most of these lots have come off the tax rolls because they were too small to be developed, there’s no sewer [or] public sewer there and the developer ended up going to federal prison in this situation.”

Tanner asked the board to consider deeding over the five parcels the county owns to the Land Bank Authority and allowing the county to front the money for the Land Bank Authority to purchase the lots in the neighborhood owned by private investors not to exceed the amount of $200,000.

Tanner explained that this would then give the Land Bank Authority 65 out of the 69 parcels and would allow it to “do away with the covenants on the property that’s there.”

Chairman Alfred John asked if the members of the Land Bank Authority have thought about the future development of this area and what it could potentially look like.

Tanner said that, while the subdivision is in a “very nice area of the county,” the area does not have a sewer system. He said that lots would need to be sized appropriately to have septic tanks and that the Land Bank Authority has not put together a design presentation yet.

“[That subdivision has] been a really bad place for dumping,” District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said. “A lot of crime… a lot of people were going in, there was dumping, there [were] drugs, they even thought [there was some] prostitution [going on].”

Tanner said that the goal for cleaning up the subdivision was to get it “back into a taxable revenue for the county in the least expensive way possible,” and while the Land Bank Authority has been “taking it one step at a time,” there was progress being made.

The motion to approve Tanner’s requests carried with a 5-0 vote.