Lee Co. moving water to spur development - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. moving water to spur development

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September 27, 2007

Lee County-  A million dollar plan will transport Lee County's water supply across the county to help commercial and residential development. It could also improve the county's fire protection. The county's water reserves are almost all on the west side of the county and the drought could leave people on the east high and dry.

You turn the faucet and fill your cup and probably don't think twice about where the water came from, but you would if it weren't there and that's what Lee County Commissioners and the Utility Authority want to do, keep that water flowing.

"If we had a well that went down for drought reasons or for mechanical, we can shift the water from one side of the county to the other," said Chris Boswell, Lee Co. Utility Authority General Manager.

They're bidding a project for a 12 inch water line along Forrester Parkway, east of Highway 19, two and a half miles toward Philema Road.

"We've got two fragmented water systems the south central, southwest and the south east, the Red Bone district is isolated and what some of that SPLOST money would allow us to do is connect those systems and make it one large system," said Boswell.

Basically the county has three large wells, three water towers, and six smaller wells but all on the west side this line would allow the county to run water toward the east's two wells. It will also help grow development along Highway 19.

"You've got to have roads, water, sewer, those basic infrastructure in order to have the commercial, you know it's what the county needs to offset the property taxes," said Boswell.

It will also help with fire protection adding fire hydrants every 500 feet along Forrester Parkway.

"Anytime we can do something to increase our water supply by a fixed water supply system it's better than us having to carry our own water because we can only carry a limited amount," said Lee Co. Fire Chief James Howell.

The authority has also sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Division informing them of a planned expansion for the sewage treatment plant to handle more waste in preparation for the Oakland Plantation Development and other commercial development Lee County is trying to draw in.

Commissioners will open bids for the project during their October 23rd meeting.

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