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Leesburg seeks to make water system improvements

LEESBURG, Ga. — City Council members in Leesburg voted 6-1 Tuesday night to seek a $500,000 Community Development Bloc Grant to improve the city’s water system.

The grant will be submitted by Chad Griffin, project engineer with Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers. The water project was chosen by City Council members over a competing project that would have made improvements to the city’s sewer system, particularly in the Canal Street and Magnolia Street areas.

Griffin said the CDBG grant application would be combined with a grant application to Georgia Environmental Financial Authority, a state-funded loan program for water infrastructure improvements. He said loan funds are available at a 2.4 percent interest rate and may be repaid over 20 years.

The grant, if funded, would help replace outdated water lines that are potentially hazardous. The old lines typically are not a problem, but the risk comes when the lines are tapped or disturbed, Griffin said.

Griffin said a follow-up phase to the water improvements could include a new water tank in the area where several Lee County schools are located. That would improve water flow and pressure over a wide area, he said.

Both phases of the water system improvements and the water tank could cost up to $2 million.

Lee County has not been approved for CDBG funds in recent years because Lee’s income levels are higher than those in many competing area towns.

Councilman Bob Wilson opposed the move because he said he had not received enough information on the two projects to make a choice between the water project and the sewer project. He agreed that both issues need addressing.

In other business, the council agreed to consider a request from Police Chief Charles Moore to purchase Tasers for his city officers. The majority of the outdated Tasers currently used by police officers are not operational, Moore said.

The council also agreed to

sell a surplus 2000 Cadillac that had been seized by the Police Department. Bobby Fudge submitted the high bid of $788 for the vehicle.