City, Selig update water, sewer agreement

Published 6:20 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge won’t be the only business on Tom Hall Parkway to benefit from new water and sewer amenities.

On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council approved a resolution amending a water and sewer agreement with Selig Enterprises, Inc. Selig is the developer who owns the land near Great Wolf that officials and developers both hope will become a shopping center. The city previously formed an agreement with the developer to provide water and sewer services along the road that is now known as Tom Hall Parkway to make the land easier to develop.

“This is the new pump station project to serve Great Wolf that you are all familiar with,” City Attorney Jeff Todd explained.

The addition of water and sewer services is expected to encourage more businesses to open in that area.

“This pump station will also facilitate other (businesses) that are coming into that area,” Councilman Willie Edmondson said.

The basics of the updated agreement were discussed during the city budget session in May, but the city is required to approve the update from the original plan. Under the update, Selig will also contribute $250,000 toward the pump station that will take city water out to the water park and the proposed retail development, as well as other homes and businesses.

However, the city will still pay the majority of the estimated $1.2 million cost of providing water and sewer services to that area. Officials believe the city will be able to earn back the cost in a timely manner between Great Wolf Resort and other developments that are already planned for that area.

“Everybody who uses or ties onto that lift station — Great Wolf, Selig, anybody — pays our normal sewer rate times 1.5,” Mayor Jim Thornton said. “So, they pay a rate that will, over time, more than compensate the city for the cost of the station.”

The amendment to the agreement with Selig will also remove liability from Selig if the project does not pay for itself within 10 years. According to Todd, the city is no longer concerned that the project will pay for itself because of the addition of the Great Wolf Resort to the area.

“The first Selig agreement was outlined even before Great Wolf came, and it was in essence to build Tom Hall Parkway with county SPLOST money, and then the city would front the money for water and sewer infrastructure along the roads and make it (the investment) back with a surcharge on the rate,” Todd said. “The first amendment had primarily to do with an increase in the cost of the county road project. The county wanted to make clear that Selig would pay for anything over the county’s (price) cap. Also, it reflected a little bit of a change in our investment.”

According to Todd, the installation of water and sewer for that section of road was originally estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The LaGrange City Council is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Ave.