The lake at the reservoir is currently at 1,056, slightly shy of its full pool level of 1,060 feet, according to Cole Blackwell, assistant division manager of the reservoir for the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority.
Construction of the reservoir is mostly complete, but the city has not yet built its operations office or a public park and boat launch area.
David Hatabian, reservoir manager for Canton, said the building alone will cost in the neighborhood of $300,000.
City Manager Scott Wood said water and sewer lines have been run to the building site, and the Canton City Council should approve an architect in the next month to 45 days.
But there's no set timeframe for developing the park and boat launch, Wood said, as the city first needs to secure funding.
The nearly $100 million price tag for the dam and reservoir was significantly more than the original $20 million estimate when officials approved the project in 2000.
The Cobb authority is paying three-fourths of the tab, with the city responsible for the remainder - with the same split for sharing the drinking water supply created by the reservoir.
The city took on $10.3 million in debt in 2005 for the reservoir and another $8 million two years later. In 2009, the council approved bonds of as much as $8 million to finance the remaining costs.
The agreement with the Cobb authority allows Canton to create a park with an access point, but that cost would be the city's responsibility.
The reservoir is designed for "passive recreation," said Glenn Page, general manager of the Cobb authority, but the 150-foot buffer that surrounds the lake will prevent that from happening until an access point is created.
Activities such as fishing, paddling, canoeing, kayaking are allowed at the lake per the agreement, but swimming and gas-powered boats are prohibited.
Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood said the city "certainly" wants to build a park and access point as soon as possible, but the current debt already is challenging.
"We've got a lot to think about," he said, adding he hopes to talk about the reservoir during the council's April 9 planning retreat.
While the lake the reservoir created is a "nice amenity," Canton Councilman Bob Rush pointed out its greater importance is as a source of drinking water.
Councilwoman Pat Tanner agreed, noting Gov. Nathan Deal's recently announced desire to spend $300 million over four years to support reservoir development.
"It's going to be a good thing for the city," she said. "It's water for the future and that's what it's all about."