Monday, April 25, 2016

Oconee County Still Waiting On Details Of Route For Proposed Calls Creek Sewer Line

Three Meetings Upcoming

Oconee County is still waiting on a report from the firm it hired to do survey work for the route of the proposed sewer line down Calls Creek, county Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie said today.

Haynie told Jim McGarvey from Friends of Calls Creek that no additional information on the route of the proposed sewer line likely will be available before the meeting the group has called for 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Library in Watkinsville.

Haynie tomorrow night also is to update the Board of Commissioners on Utility Department plans as part of the Board’s regular agenda-setting meeting.

That presentation likely will include discussion of updates to the county’s pump station on Epps Bridge Parkway and an expansion of the sewer line that runs down Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road.

Haynie expects to have construction work on the sewer line along those two roads underway in late summer or early fall. They, too, are part of the expansion plans for the Calls Creek plant.

Also on Thursday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Sounding Board for the widening of U.S. 441 and Bishop Bypass will hold an open meeting to provide an update on that project and time line for future work.

(I expect to have video of the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum from this evening uploaded later this week.)

Friends Meeting

Haynie told McGarvey, in a message he also copied to me, “There are no new work products at this time” from Precision Planning Inc., with offices on Monroe. PPI is doing the survey work for the line that would flow down the Calls Creek corridor.

McGarvey, who lives on Calls Creek and has been an outspoken critic of the proposed 24-inch sewer line, had asked Haynie if there would be any additional information to be shared at the Thursday night meeting.

“As of last week, PPI was busy on high priority County projects including our new water supply tank, distribution system improvements, and trunk sewers for McNutt’s Creek Phase II and Epps Bridge Road Force Main Upgrade,” Haynie wrote.

“We will most certainly keep you updated,” Haynie continued. “As the study nears completion, we will reach out and share results with FoCC and all interested groups.” FoCC stands for Friends of Calls Creek.

Force Main Upgrade

Haynie had mentioned the proposed new water tower, water distribution lines, continuation of work on the McNutt Creek sewer line from Bogart to Epps Bridge Parkway, and the improvements to the line from Epps Bridge Parkway to just outside Watkinsville during budget hearings on April 13.

Daniells Bridge Road Sewer Line

Almost certainly some of those will come up tomorrow night at the BOC meeting as well.

Most of the attention has focused on the improvements to the pump station, Number 15 on the county’s map, at the dead end of the McNutt Creek line at Epps Bridge Parkway.

New, larger pumps will be installed at that site, and a new emergency back-up pump will be added.

Haynie told me in an email exchange last that work on the pumps “is to be performed in-house as a recent construction bid from private sector was too high and rejected.”

Relief For LAS

At present, much of the sewage from the commercial center at Epps Bridge Parkway is pumped all the way back to the county’s second sewage treatment facility, a Land Application System, on Rocky Branch Road.

The goal is switch most of that sewage, as well as future sewage flowing down the McNutt Creek line from Bogart, to the Calls Creek plant, which is just outside Watkinsville off North Main Street.

At present, the county has the ability to switch that sewage to the existing sewer line that runs down Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road.

But this line is only a 6 inches, and it isn’t capable of handling the increased flow from Epps Bridge Parkway, Haynie said.

Upgrading To 12 Inches

The plan is to upgrade the line from the Number 15 pump to just outside Watkinsville to 12 inches in diameter.

This new 12-inch main will run approximately 4.2 miles from Number 15 pump to the Lampkin Branch Interceptor, which is a gravity feed line running to the Calls Creek plant.

This upgrade will by-pass the existing pump station on Daniells Bridge Road at Barber Creek (Number 17), “leaving that smaller pumping system in place in case needed for some reason,” Haynie said.

Only normal preventative maintenance will be done to Pump Station 16 at Dowdy Road, Haynie said.

Haynie said he hopes to have that project out to bid in June or July of this year. He expects construction to take place in late summer or early fall.

Ethics Ordinance

County Attorney Daniel Haygood will propose to the Board of Commissioners tomorrow night a change in the county’s Ethics Ordinance.

The changes will strengthen the hand of the Special Master in investigating ethics complaints.

The proposed change to the ordinance states that the Special Master “shall have the authority to request additional information from the complainant, the county commissioner named in the complaint or any other party the Special Master deems to have relevant information.”

Sarah Bell on Oct. 12 filed the only complaint under the county’s ordinance, charging Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis with violation of eight separate prohibitions of the county ordinance.

Special Master James Warnes dismissed the complaint on Oct. 16 saying it did “not set forth material facts for which remedy can be given.” He did not conduct any independent investigation of the complaint.

Bell, 1201 Arrowhead Road, east of Butler’s Crossing, is a candidate for Post 4 in the May 24 Board of Commissioners election.

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