Oconee County officials expect to let bids early in January or February for construction of a $2.5 million gravity-fed sewer line running along McNutt Creek from Jimmy Daniell Road to Parkway Boulevard at Kohl’s.
While the county has tried to stay outside the 25-foot buffer the state places on streams, that was not possible in all cases, and the county is waiting on a final approval of a variance to encroach on the buffer for 627 feet along the creek.
|McNutt Creek At 16th Green|
(Photo Courtesy Of Golfer)
The county also has not completed purchase of easements for all of the route, including for sections where the sewer line will cross fairways at Jennings Mill Country Club. Construction of the sewer line is expected to require temporary closing of some of the fairways.
The McNutt Creek sewer project is part of an upgrade and expansion of the county’s sewerage treatment system that will include modifications to the line running from Epps Bridge Parkway at Parkway Boulevard to Home Depot.
It also will include improvements to the line along Daniells Bridge Road and then Government Station Road. That line runs to the county’s only treatment plant just outside Watkinsville.
Plans are for the McNutt Creek line to be extended at some point in the future along McNutt Creek from Epps Bridge Parkway to a new sewage treatment plant on the Middle Oconee River near Simonton Bridge Road.
Much of the new line will run through areas out of sight to most residents of the county.
The work along the creek as it flows through the Jennings Mill golf course is one of the exceptions.
That course straddles the creek, which forms long stretches of the border between Oconee County and Clarke County.
Course fairways cross the creek, and construction of the sewer line likely will close parts of the course during construction, according to Chris Thomas, Oconee County Utility Department director.
Thomas told me on in a series of telephone conversations this month that he is working with the new owners of Jennings Mill to minimize the disruption of the construction.
According to Oconee County tax records, the property remains in the hands of Titan Jennings Mill LLC of Ft. Washington, Pa.
On Sept. 30, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners issued a Recreational Club alcohol license to Lanier Tindall LLC, effective on the date the company purchases the country club property.
Mark Bell, representing Lanier Tindall, told the BOC that closing on the property had been scheduled for Sept. 30 but had not gone through on the timetable expected.
The Georgia Secretary of State database does not contain a listing for Lanier Tindall LLC.
Gravity Vs. Pumps
A primary goal of construction of the McNutt Creek line is to eliminate pump stations, which are expensive to operate and maintain.
|Circle Is Of Line To Be Bid|
(Click To Enlarge)
The newly constructed section from Jimmy Daniell Road to Kohl’s will be connected to stretches of existing and proposed lines that run back to Bogart.
A pump station at McNutt Creek and Epps Bridge Parkway already exists and services much of the commercial development along Epps Bridge Parkway.
That pump station and a line running to Home Depot are to be upgraded in the near future, according to Thomas.
Back To LAS
From Home Depot, the existing line crosses under SR Loop 10 and connects with a line running down Daniells Bridge Road and then Government Station Road, ultimately reaching the Calls Creek sewage plant outside Watkinsville.
The Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road line also is to be upgraded in the near future, according to Thomas.
At present, much of the sewage from the development along Epps Bridge Parkway is pumped along sewer lines to the county’s Land Application Site on Rocky Branch Road. That site, due south of Bogart, is at one of the highest points in the county.
When the upgrades to the pump station at Epps Bridge Parkway and the lines from there to and along Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road are completed, Thomas said, the sewage will be pumped to Calls Creek rather than to the Rocky Branch Road facility.
Details Of New Line
Thomas updated the Board of Commissioners on the McNutt Creek line from Jimmy Daniell Road to Kohl’s at its meeting on Oct. 28. (The picture above is created from the PowerPoint Thomas used at that meeting.)
The line will be 18 inches in diameter and run for a total of 15,789 linear feet, or three miles.
The project will cost $2.49 million, with the money coming from the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The county has only spent a small part of the $6.9 million set aside for water and sewer projects in the current SPLOST.
The county has allocated $12.1 million for water and sewer projects in SPLOST 2015, which voters approved in November.
Thomas told me when I talked to him on Dec. 17 that he hopes to be able to send out for bids construction of the McNutt Creek line from Jimmy Daniell Road to Kohl’s in January or February.
As of Friday, however, he had not yet received the buffer variance from the state Environmental Protection Division.
Michael Berry, an environmental specialist with the Watershed Protection Branch of EPD, told me on Dec. 4 that he had sent the variance forward for approval.
Thomas told me on the 17th that the county also still needs six or seven easements before it can go forward with bidding.
Thomas said the disruption to the Jennings Mill course will be from one to two months. He expects that to be in June or July.
Thomas said he thinks construction of the line from Jimmy Daniell Road to Kohl’s will be completed in a year.
Extension And New Plant
Thomas said work on the upgrade of the pump station at Epps Bridge Parkway and the lines to Home Depot and along Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road will take place in the next two years.
Extension of the proposed line along McNutt Creek from Epps Bridge Parkway to the Middle Oconee River and construction of the new sewage plant on the Middle Oconee is further in the future, Thomas said.
His ballpark estimate of the cost of the new sewage treatment plant is $40 million.
The sewer line along McNutt Creek from Epps Bridge Parkway to the new plant would be about twice as long as the $2.5 million line to be built from Jimmy Daniell Road to Kohl’s.
The long-range plans also call for a gravity fed line along Barber Creek, which joins McNutt Creek just east of where U.S. 441 crosses both streams at its intersection with SR Loop 10.