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Friday, February 22, 2008

After Milton Complained, State Will Hold Hearing On Sewer Plant Slated For Cherokee


By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution http://www.ajc.com/

Milton residents' hostility to sewer does not end at the city limits.

Concerned about a proposed 2 million-gallon-per-day sewer plant planned in neighboring Cherokee County, Milton community leaders mounted an email and letter-writing campaign. They demanded that the state Environmental Protection Division conduct a public hearing before deciding whether to issue a permit for the plant.

After receiving 250 letters and emails, the state relented and scheduled a hearing for March 18 at 7 p.m. at Canton City Hall."Usually we don't hold hearings on draft permits," said David Bullard of the EDP Watershed Management Branch. "When we started getting letters asking us to hold a public hearing, we decided to do it."

Bullard said the hearing will focus on water quality issues, not zoning and land use questions. The latter, he said, should be addressed by the applicant, the Cherokee County Water and Sewage Authority or to the Cherokee County Commission.

Many Milton residents argue sewer brings density, which they say would detract from the community's country feel.

"This is a perfect example of where we need to be aware and involved in what happens at our borders to ensure this unique region maintains its rural character," City Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey wrote in a recent email to supporters. Zahner Bailey is a staunch opponent of sewer in Milton."If approved this could potentially bring sewer to our backdoor," she wrote. "In addition to the risk of sewer is the risk of high density development that will drive up traffic counts, increase storm water run-off and negatively impact our already impaired waterways within the Coosa [River] basin."

Zahner Bailey wrote that the concern is shared by Cherokee County residents as well.
"Many in Cherokee County believe that the introduction of sewer in rural areas may be detrimental to the infrastructure and to their way of life and do not want it brought to the northeastern area of Cherokee," she wrote.

The facility, called the Northeast Plant, has been in the works for about two years.
Tom Heard, general manager of the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority, was a little taken aback by Milton residents' desire to intervene in the permitting process with the state, especially considering that the plant will be in Ball Ground, 10 miles from Milton."I was a little surprised that Milton folks would do that," Heard said. "The closest the sewer would come is about five miles from the border. It's in the Etowah River Basin, and Milton is in the Little River Basin. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and it's being treated as gospel."

The plant is being built to treat sewage from the industrial I-575 corridor, as well as a 2,000-acre development and a 600-acre development.Heard said there are no plans to bring sewer near Milton.

He said if the state kills the Northeast Plant, then much of the county will develop on septic, which he said would be a bad thing."There's a huge amount of land yet to be developed in Cherokee County," Heard said. "If you look out 50 years, it would be bad for the environment because septic tanks fail. They don't have the same level of treatment as sewer. And they consume water and don't return it back to the river. Our goal is to return all of the water to the river."

Heard argued that sewer systems aren't necessarily incongruous with rural life.
"It doesn't have to lead to density," Heard said. "It's up to the city's master plan."

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

This would have been fine for a citizen or two to get involved in, but when one of our city council members is involved, it is embarrasing for Milton.

Anonymous said...

FYI

1]The Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority is a seperate ennity from the county and acts accordingly.

2]Last time I checked,One of the largest land owners in Cherokee County happens to be the father of the lawyer for the Water and Sewer Authority.

3]If Mr Heard says it, I would be inclined NOT to believe it.

4] Cherokee County politics is the good ole boy net work at it's worst and maninipulation of land values in a rapidly growing county is BIG business.

5]The majority of traffic problems in Milton are directly related to cars coming from Cherokee County.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I think it's everything BUT embarrassing for Milton to have 250 letters written to protect our environment in here. I think it's more embarrassing to have special interests pull strings and try to sneak things in under our noses. I'm sorry but if you don't like that a city council member got involved to protect what we hold precious than you'd better move. Aren't they supposed to look out for us? The fight for the rights of - and for what is best for - OUR community has only just begun.

Anonymous said...

The last time Jezebel overstepped, after being told to stay away from the billboard discussions at the County, Milton got hosed. Word is, Commissioners got so pissed at her lobbying them individually by phone, they decided to "show those folks in Milton..." Maybe she can piss off Cherokee, and go for three with Forsyth. She doesn't care if everyone in Milton loses, as long as she gets some press....

Anonymous said...

How about some concern for what's glaring Milton in the face City Council. More concerned about what's around us threatening our city, then what is being done to us right now by the FCBOE. Where is Julie Zahner Bailey now...so precious is our dear watershed but you ignore this situation completely. Walk the walk! You preach it, stand behind it everywhere in Milton, not just at our borders for God's sake! That's why you were re-elected, for what you supposedly stood for.

Anonymous said...

Septic systems do not fail. One house per acre on a septic system is more then enough to dissapate. Go see the EPD website if you want factual information instead of listening to the bull from the CCWA. Sewer equals density. Name one place in America that sewer did not equal or cause increase in density and development. They must think the residents of Milton are really dense as well.

Anonymous said...

From DJ: Milton is in the Little River Basin mentioned by Heard in the article AND it is in the Etowah Basin which all flows to Lake Allatoona. Milton is included in the sewer plans of Cherokee Water and Sewerage Authority: Source: Metro North Water Planning District Long-term Wastewater Management Plan, September 2003: Appendix B-4 "Treatment for wastewater produced in the Etowah Basin portions of Forsyth and Fulton Counties may be provided within Cherokee County to effect regionalization." AND: "The following non-capital programs are specific to Cherokee County..."
"participate in joint planning study after 2010 with Cobb and Fulton counties and affected cities to develop a regional approach to wastewater management for the Etowah basin area of Fulton County." If in doubt, check the Metro North Water Planning District's website. Mr. Heard cannot be taken at his word.

Anonymous said...

Heard's in-laws have a lot at stake here with ownership of over 300 acres of land in the NE portion of Cherokee County where this new plant is proposed. Isn't this a conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

https://createpdf.adobe.com/cgi-pickup.pl/MNGWPD.pdf?BP=IE&LOC=en_US&CUS=4260046b70e2f61760163af20808a95e&CDS=47C1B027-5E2E-088724

If you have any doubt about CCWSA's plans to provide sewer service to Milton, click on the link above to view the documents in the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District for the NE Cherokee Regional Wastewater Plant - 2 Million Gallons Per Day is allocated to Fulton County (Milton is the city that boarders Cherokee County in the Etowah/Coosa Basin) for the time frame of 2011 to 2020. An additional 1 million gallons per day is added for the years 2021 to 2030.

Anonymous said...

If we lose sight of the sewer issue and allow extensions from other counties through Milton, we will have far more battles to fight than school placement.

Anonymous said...

The CCWSA are masters at circumventing both law and the desires of the majority of the people. HB:776 passed in 1997 attempted to give some control to the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners over the actions of CCWSA.

"The authority shall not be authorized to install any water or sewer trunk line of 12 inches diameter or greater unless such installation project has been reviewed by the board of commissioners of Cherokee County and has been approved by a resolution of the board of commissioners adopted in an open meeting."

CCWSA installs 2 eight inch lines which allows a total of 16 inches of line to be run without getting approval of the board of commissioners. How's that for creative avoidance.

Anonymous said...

Septic does return water to the river, just not as quickly as sewer treatment because it recharges our aquifers, and the streams and creeks along the way, which flow into the river.
It appears that CCWSA has desires to help the GOB network of landowners and developers cram more homes on less land giving them all more more money in their bank accounts at our expense.

Anonymous said...

The story by the AJC is just another glaring example of how difficult it is for the public to learn the truth. Either the reporters are too lazy or they are not given the time to do their research. Taking the word of employees of CCWSA as the gospel without verification of the truth is irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Ever try the direct route and contact Katie Reeves who is our elected representative on the School Board? Faulting the city council is misdirected. Reeves is the one that needs to be stepping out of her comfort zone and helping us! Where's she been? Don't let her skate by.

Anonymous said...

He said if the state kills the Northeast Plant, then much of the county will develop on septic, which he said would be a bad thing."There's a huge amount of land yet to be developed in Cherokee County," Heard said. "If you look out 50 years, it would be bad for the environment because septic tanks fail.

In response: I guess Mr. Heard thinks that the millions of gallons of raw sewerage that pours into our watershed each year from failing sewer lines is acceptable to our environment. It appears to me that sewer does a lot more to pollute our water than septic ever could, just do a search on sewer spills and you will see the facts. The story is the same for all sewer systems and as they age it gets worse. DeKalb had over 200 raw sewerage spills in 2006, one spill sent 10 MILLION Gallons of raw sewerage into South River. Do the means justify the end result so long as the GOB gets their high density development?

Anonymous said...

Now this is what Access Milton is all about. This is the kind of information I want to read about. This is an intelligent discussion.

Thanks to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Because sewer= more density, it also = higher land prices.

The Good ole Boy system = Cherokee County politics

Heards "word"= zip

Anonymous said...

I hope someone from Protect Milton will run for the board of education. It's the best way to improve our representation on school matters. Think about it!

Anonymous said...

Residents of both Milton and Cherokee County should be aware that it is the people from CCWSA that are spreading misinformation. Heard claims CCWSA will not run sewer service the 10 miles from the Ball Ground Plant, well what about the sewer service they have run about 20 miles from their Fitzgerald Plant to the Manor North right at our back door? I hear that plant is upgrading to quadruple their capacity. It appears that we are going to be invaded from all of our borders with Cherokee County with sewer pipes running from all directions.

Anonymous said...

I just heard that Ron Green of IWS is associated with CCWSA. They just paid him $4 Million because he got a chicken plant to sign a contract to turn their permit into EPD so that it could be given to CCWSA so they can build another sewer plant on the other side of Cherokee County.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments on this site I'm sure glad I don't live in Milton or any where near where such narrow minded people live.

Anonymous said...

BINGO...Narrow minded people.

Women and men driving their minivans, suv's, sports cars, talking on cell phones, ignoring common courtesy. Never use turn signals, ignore stop lines, roll through stop signs, speed.

Many ten cent millionaires, who have their agenda. Disagree and you will be called uneducated and much worse. Ever attend a home owners association meeting, where no one can agree on anything, well that is Milton.

They want city council, whether they have jurisdiction or not, to go to bat for them and when that happens, they bitch that the city was embarrased. Those very same complainers probably could not lead a two person parade.

They came here to get away from the same situations that they have now created here. But they try to spin it that everyone else is to blame.

The majority in Milton has the "ME" syndrone and "TO HELL" with the others. Oh, no doubt they are highly educated, just don't have too much common sense and are rude and obnoxious. Just read the replys and you will see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Ballground, GA and to me you sound 10 times worse than anyone I've met in the Milton area

Anonymous said...

You guys should visit Miltonville where the people are known to be nice to one another.

Anonymous said...

Where is this Ballground you refer to?

Anonymous said...

What do you mean where is Ballground? Take Birmingham Road / Hickory Flat towards Freehome...keep going, you'll hit Ballground...

Anonymous said...

I thought this discussion was about the AJC article concerning a proposed sewer plant in Cherokee County and its ramifications on the city of Milton...

Anonymous said...

You know I don't think you live in "Ballground" because it is spelled BALL GROUND. Birmingham Rd/Hickory Flat does not run into Ball Ground. Believe you are a highly educated or is it uneducated Miltonite, just messing with me, right.

Anonymous said...

Do not listen to anything Linda Flory AKA "Annonomous" says about Tom Heard. He is an honest man of integrity and a deacon in one of the oldest churches in North Georgia. Linda Flory has smoked too many cigarettes and needs to move back to New York. If Tom Heard said something, you can believe it. Linda, find a new hobby or buy yourself a cat. Where would Windward Parkway or Johns creek be today without sewer? They need an upscale business park in Cherokee then they won't have to drive across Milton to get to work. They can't attract industry without sewer. Go check out what the Upper Chattahoochee Water Keeper has to say about sewer vs. septic. Septic tanks do fail. Mine did and leaked for a long time before I realized it and then cost me thousands to repair. Linda Flory and the CCRG have an agenda and that is to stop growth in Cherokee at any cost to the environment, our taxes, the property owners, and worstly, the integrity of decent human beings. I hope she's ashamed. Don't let her drag Milton into her s**t pot of lies.

Anonymous said...

You are mistaken and/or very naive if you think only one person is anonymously commenting on Cherokee Water and Sewerage Authority and its employees.

Anonymous said...

It is irresponsible home owners like yourself that give septic a bad reputation. If you were not responsible enough to have your system maintained, it would be safe to assume that you would also not be responsible with what you put down your drain if you were to be on sewer. The cost to replace a septic system is far less than the cost to hook up to sewer service, not to mention the on going costs of sewer. Septic tanks are very safe if properly maintained.

Sewer spills pollute our watershed far more than septic ever could. DeKalb County had over 200 spills in 2006. Fulton County pays millions of dollars in fines each year for spilling raw sewerage into the water, and has for years because it is less expensive to pay the fines rather than fix the system. The city of Atlanta is paying over 3 BILLION to fix their failing sewer system after years and years of polluting the water.

Anonymous said...

Septic tanks have to be maintained regularly & properly. Someone who lets his septic fail and admits it leaked for a long time without his knowledge is irresponsible and not someone I find credible on this issue.

Anonymous said...

I googled CCRG and learned that its message is not to stop growth. Thanks for the tip. I would never have known about this group had you not mentioned it.

Anonymous said...

I've posted anonymous comments on this site and that is not my name.

Anonymous said...

The CCRG's actions speak much louder than their words. Sometimes their words speak as loudly as their actions. Go to their founder's website www.mydiarywithgod.com and see what you think. She believes she is a holy prophet sent from God to save the earth. I think she's even running for president of the United States this year. She's also stated she is the reincarnate of Cheif Sitting Bull and a supporter of witchcraft. The Cherokee Commissioners appointed her to the Planning Commission, and to the Land Use Planning Board. Cherokee County is in trouble but it's not because of the good ole boys.

Anonymous said...

Do I hear banjos? Is someone playing the theme from "Deliverance"? No, wait, I think it's the good ole boy network typing away.

Anonymous said...

My parents have been on septic for over 30 years...they've never had any problems...

I can't believe that anyone would trust the CCWSA...they don't care about anything except their wallets!

Are for the 2 of you arguing about Ball Ground...you're right, it is 2 words, not one...and you cannot get there on Hickory Flat Road...you have to take Birmingham Hwy / 372...it turns left, goes through Freehome...and then hits Ball Ground...

-Travis Allen

Anonymous said...

Check out Fox 5 tonight at 6:00 and 10:00. Dale Russell is doing an investigative report on the EPD called, "Water, politics and claims of favoritism". Apparently it exposes the EPD and its director, Carol Couch, for playing favoritism and caving under political pressure. This is very timely with this sewer permit being requested in Cherokee. Here's a link: http://community.myfoxatlanta.com/blogs/DaleRussell/

Anonymous said...

My parents have been on septic for over 30 years and never had problems either but my sister's system failed after 6years and flooded her basement and yard with sewerage and cost several thousand dollars to repair. Some people get lucky. Most people will have a problem eventually with a septic system.

Anonymous said...

Travis, I was just "smoking out" the imposter, who pretended to be from Ballground. No argument on my part as I've been to Ball Ground many, many times in past thirty five or so years.

Good BBQ at Two Brothers, whether it be Ballground or Ball Ground.

Anonymous said...

"Cherokee County needs sewer to attract industry?"

Try an alternative route to Ball Ground. Take east Cherokee Drive north and see a beautiful road and views demolished.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd make the comments total 42. Not much action on AM today. Need an AM fix.

Anonymous said...

Individual residential septic systems put 250 gallons per day into the ground. Our density is one home per acre, and one acre as someone already commented correctly is ample land to dissipate. I agree with the Protect Milton group, a high school should not be built on a septic system. The school will dump over 100,000 gallons of septic waste into the Watershed. Large scale commercialism and schools should be put on sewer. Would we allow a Target or Walmart to build on the 116 acres on Freemanville, on top of the creeks and streams that feed the Coosa River? Why should the BOE be premitted to get away with it? Pollution is pollution no matter who is doing it to the Watershed.

A Protect Milton Fan! They are not alone, keep at it PM. Go check their petition.

Anonymous said...

If BOE is willing to donate this land to Habitat for Humanity, would anyone in community object if 116 homes were built for low income people.

Based on previous calculations, one septic system per acre would not pollute the stream.

Traffic could be held to a minimum by putting this on MARTA route. In addition this would help some of us poor people have access to less expensive transportation.

After all it should be about our CITY and not about OURSELVES?

E.T.

Anonymous said...

116 homes can't be built on this this property due to the creeks, streams and watershed, the property has perc issues as well based on the studies that were done in 2000 by engineers. More like 60-70 homes maximum would be permitted. Richard Wernick was going to put around that many homes on it, prior to him gifting it to the BOE, since that's all it could handle given the environmental issues of the property. Can't build on property that doesn't perc.

For Everyone in Milton, it would serve well for a park since we are scarce in that department, or return it to some residential homes as mentioned. Anything other than schools on septic,as long as it's not polluting the watershed regardless of what ends up on it, if anything at all.

PM Fan!

Anonymous said...

How about putting City Hall there? And a Post Office with a Park. A Community Garden. A City Square.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Not sure if you have seen the site or not, but there is a huge multi million dollar home being built across the street. You cant build anything like that accross the street?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous, who posted @ 5:13AM.
You stated; "You can't build anything like that accross the street?"

Did you mean [1]low income housing, [2]park, [3]city hall, post office...or all of the above.

E.T.

Travis Allen said...

What on Earth would make you think that Marta would put a route that far out of the way...

How long have you lived here?

Anonymous said...

Travis, didn't you look at his name, E.T. He lives in Outer Space. He doesn't know about MARTA. He only knows about a different kind of rapid transit, like spaceships.

Sorry ET, I couldn't resist.
P.

Anonymous said...

To Travis: Must have been suffering from an attack of lunacy when I mentioned MARTA.

I haven't lived here long enough, yet.

To P.: No offense, there are more space cadets in the area.

E.T.

Anonymous said...

To P. : my prior response should have read: No offense taken, there are more space cadets in the area.

E.T.