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Hogansville approves resolution on water system project

The Hogansville City Council approved a resolution and engineering agreement with Turnipseed Engineers Monday that will ultimately help the city complete its water system improvement project.

The city has completed designs for its water systems to provide water installation along Bass Cross Road from Highway 29 to its intersection at Highway 54 and 100, said City Manager Jonathan Lynn. ​​Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz said during a June city council meeting that the city plans to spend $4 million on the project and that additional funding will come from a USDA loan and grant.

Due to a recent $1.6 million bond, the city now only needs to request funding in the amount of  $2.9 million, $700,000 of which would need to be grant funds, which would be submitted to the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. The city would be on a repayment schedule for the $2.9 million, Lynn explained

“What that will do for the city is allow us to complete the entire water system project pretty quickly with the amount of money we have set aside from the bond refinancing plus the GEFA portion,” Lynn said.

“It will allow us to bring that water line all the way up from Highway 29 to the intersection of Bass Cross Road Highway 54 and 100. It would allow for a 500,000 gallon ground storage tank along BBass Cross Road, as well as an additional 500,000 gallon ground storage tank at Granite Street…”

The addition of the tanks would ultimately “eliminate the water pressure issues throughout the city all at one time,” as well as put the city in “a very good position for the growth that we know is coming,” Lynn said.

Stankiewicz inquired about the changes the resolution would make to Hogansville’s water sales contract it has with the city of LaGrange.

Currently, Hogansville gets its water from LaGrange and has a “take or pay” agreement with them. This means that Hogansville has a minimum amount of water it can take from LaGrange, and that if it doesn’t take it, it has to pay for it, Stankiewicz further explained.

At Hogansville’s next meeting, the council will have a water sales agreement with the city of LaGrange, Lynn said, allowing Hogansville to have up to 1 million gallons of water a day.

“We will pay for what we get at this point,” Lynn said.

The council then approved the resolution, followed by the agreement with Turnipseed Engineering.

In other business at the meeting, the council voted to make both Boozer Street and King Street one way streets starting Sept. 1. Additionally, College Street will be reversed and traffic will now exit onto Main St. Drivers will not be able to enter Main Street from College Street following these changes.

Lynn said through conversations with Police Chief Jeff Sheppard, he believed that making the streets one-ways would help the flow of traffic in the area as well as protect drivers.

“Boozer Street…that portion between and Main Street W. and Elm Street is approximately 15 feet wide, so it is very difficult for two-way traffic to get through there,” Lynn explained. “King Street between Elm Street and W. Main Street is approximately 17 feet wide, so neither of those streets are conducive to two-way traffic.”

With the construction of Lofton Park ongoing, Lynn said the one-ways would better the traffic pattern in the area.

Councilmember Toni Striblin said she agreed that the small size of both streets was a hindrance to downtown traffic and gave her vote to change the streets into one ways.

Citizen input on the one-ways were requested via Facebook, Lynn said, and zero comments were received. Lynn added that communication with the Georgia Department of Transportation was not needed, though a suggestion was made to alert them of the change due to the streets being close to a highway.

The council also had a second and final reading to amend the Entertainment District Ordinance, subsequently amending the alcoholic beverages ordinance in order to regulate the consumption of alcoholic beverages outdoors, and provide a downtown entertainment district for the city where open containers will be allowed.

“This will allow during licensed special events only  the carrying of open containers in the entertainment district,” Stankiewicz said. “It further restricted that [the drinks] have to be in a plastic cup from a licensed retailer, or someone who has a pouring license.”

Along with the ordinance, the council adopted an entertainment district map.