Toccoa Talks Utilities At Work Session

The city of Toccoa continues to move forward on a number of different utility-related issues.

City commissioners discussed those topics at a work session on Monday afternoon.

One of the main topics commissioners discussed was the development of the city’s efforts in the area of compressed natural gas with vehicles.

Toccoa City Manager Billy Morse said on one end, the city continues to examine information from a test program where the city converted a few of its vehicles to compressed natural gas to see what the potential cost savings are to the city and if it is something that would benefit the city’s vehicle fleet on a larger scale.

The city’s other CNG effort involves looking at working with the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia to construct a compressed natural gas station.

Morse said that could allow not just city vehicles, but others to convert their vehicles to compressed natural gas.

“Not only just public fleets, but private fleets as well,” said Morse.  “We would like the opportunity to talk to all businesses that have large fleets.”

He also said it could serve individuals that would convert their vehicles.

Morse said the commission has instructed staff to continue looking at options for a possible compressed natural gas station.

City commissioners also discussed the dredging of Davidson Lake, one of the three lakes from which Toccoa pulls its water.

Morse said the silt in the lake is building up at the dam and needs to be dredged.

“Because it is the National Forest, it is controlled by the Corps of Engineers and it is an environmentally sensitive project,” said Morse.  “We are having to handle that very delicately, but the bottom line is we have to get silt out of the lake and away from the dam.”

Morse said it is expensive proposition.

“Probably reaching a $2 million cost to do the project,” said Morse, citing the environmental issues.

Morse said the city has put aside SPLOST funds for this project and is still waiting on the necessary permitting to do the dredging.

He said that the city must also put together a plan for what to do with what is dredged out of the lake.

Morse called it a long-term project.

Finally, Toccoa City Commissioners discussed planned work at the Ward Creek Liftstation.

Morse said that during periods of heavy rain, the liftstation on Fern Valley Drive can become overloaded and the result is that it spills into the creek.

“We have diluted wastewater getting into the creek,” said Morse.  “It is diluted so it is not as environmentally sensitive as you might think it is, but it is a bad thing.  We want to correct that.”

Morse said the pumps at the WardCreek liftstation are working as efficiently as they can.

He said the problem is having enough lines to get the wastewater out of the liftstation and moving through the system fast enough to keep up with input.

“There is only one sewer line leading out of that liftstation,” said Morse.  “We are talking about a secondary sewer line.”

Morse said the city has SPLOST money available for this project as well.

He said the commission instructed him to have an engineer collect data to make sure that adding the second line will not create problems elsewhere in the system.