New sewer plan OK’d

The Tyrone Town Council on March 16 approved an agreement with Fulton County for additional sewer capacity. Pictured, from left, are Gloria Furr, Ken Matthews, Mayor Eric Dial, Ryan Housley and Linda Howard. Photo/Ben Nelms.


The idea of Tyrone wanting to obtain additional sewer capacity is nothing new. What is new is that the Tyrone Town Council, following a move a day earlier by the Fulton County Commission, voted March 16 to purchase 400,000 gallons per day from Fulton.

Addressing the topic on March 16, Town Manager Kyle Hood said Tyrone has been attempting to find additional sewer capacity for several years. He recommended accepting the terms of the agreement with Fulton County. Fulton commissioners on March 15 voted 5-0 to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Tyrone to supply 400,000 gallons per day of sewer capacity.

The subsequent vote on the recommendation was 3-1, with Councilwoman Gloria Furr opposed.

Furr after the meeting said she campaigned on not bringing additional sewer to the town. Furr said she understood that the town must have the capacity to handle current needs, “But I don’t think we need the additional capacity.”

Furr added that she was glad the additional capacity secured by the town came from Fulton County rather than Peachtree City.

Tyrone currently buys 250,000 gallons per day from Fairburn, while Fairburn buys its sewer capacity from Fulton County.

From Tyrone’s perspective on the issue, Fairburn 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.

“This is not an expansion to existing residences with no current access to sewer,” said Mayor Eric 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.”

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 is set to expire in 2019.

Pertaining to the agreement with Fulton County rather than Peachtree City, 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 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.

As for construction costs associated with future development, Dial said developers will pay for that installation.

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.

After a discussion, the board voted to table the discussion with the understanding that Tyrone can contact WASA to negotiate services. Based on Fulton’s decision on March 15 and the vote by the Tyrone Council, those services will not be needed.