The years-long attempt by Tyrone to obtain additional sewer capacity came to an end on March 16. The Town Council declined a potential agreement with Peachtree City in favor of an offer from Fulton County that included more capacity and no construction costs
Tyrone currently buys 250,000 gallons per day from Fairburn, while Fairburn buys its sewer capacity from Fulton County.
Tyrone in early 2016 asked the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to sell 350,000 gallons per day, noting that the agreement with Fairburn was set to expire in 2019.
A recent offer from Fulton County to sell 400,000 gallons per day of capacity was approved by the Fulton County Commission on March 15 and by the Tyrone Town Council on March 16.
Prior to the Tyrone vote, Town Manager Kyle Hood said the town has been attempting to find additional sewer capacity for several years. He recommended accepting the terms of the agreement with Fulton County.
Pertaining to Fairburn, the city recently agreed to buy back its capacity from Tyrone and is in process of determining a buy-back of the 250,000 gallons per day from Tyrone for a negotiated amount.
The result will be a net increase of 150,000 gallons per day, bringing Tyrone’s total to 400,000 gallons per day.
Addressing the agreement with Fulton County rather than Peachtree City, Mayor Eric Dial said, “It came down to money and practicality. We would have been limited to 350,000 gallons per day with Peachtree City and there were other items they wanted applied to the agreement. With Fulton, we get 400,000 gallons and save close to $2 million in construction costs. I would have had to explain to our taxpayers why we spent that extra money unnecessarily.”
The topic of selling sewer to Tyrone and Senoia came up at the March 6 WASA board after board member John Dufresne asked that the discussion items be included on the agenda.
Noting an ongoing topic in the minds of some, Dufresne said WASA, being a duly constituted authority by the state, does not need Peachtree City to operate.
“In the past, WASA agreed not to extend past city limits without the city’s okay,” said Dufresne.
Dufresne’s comments were presumably linked to the City Council putting stipulations on sewer service outside city limits due to having signed off on two WASA bonds in years past. It will be the next decade before those bonds are paid-off.
Dufresne continued, saying that he wanted the WASA board to “Take a stand. We either exercise our powers or we do what the city wants.”
“It’s the city’s decision, not ours,” Vice Chairman Phil Mahler responded.
The Peachtree City Council in mid-2016 adopted a resolution to develop an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that could have resulted in extending limited sewer service to Tyrone. To date, nothing more has been announced concerning the development of the IGA.
Back in Tyrone, the up-front cost to Fulton County is $1.7 million at the same cost per gallon currently paid to Fairburn. Beyond that, Tyrone wants a $1.062 million buy-back from Fairburn that came with the up-front cost when the town initially went with Fairburn years ago.
Tyrone on its SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) list included $1.7 million for sewer service.
“This is not an expansion to existing residences with no current access to sewer,” said Dial. “It’s an expansion of sewer treatment capacity to provide access to adjacent developments in the areas where the sewer lines currently exist.”
As for the town’s plans now that additional sewer capacity is coming, Dial said, “There has been no specific use identified to date, but we know we will need additional sewer capacity in the future.”
As for construction costs associated with future development, Dial said developers will pay for that installation.