The city will soon begin clearing about 2.5 acres on Fate Conn Road at Bluffs Parkway to develop into a public access area, said Reservoir Manager David Hatabian.
Hatabian said the lease agreement between the city and Technology Park Associates will allow the city to utilize the land to allow residents access to the lake at the reservoir.
The proposed agreement has been reviewed by Canton City Attorney Bobby Dyer and could come before the Canton City Council during its meeting next Thursday.
If approved, the city can begin the clearing.
Hatabian said parking will be on gravel surface and could accommodate scores of cars, trucks and trailers.
Along with parking, the city will install a boat ramp on the property.
Hatabian said he’s optimistic about finishing the work by mid-July, but said that date isn’t set in stone.
“People have been really good about being patient to get on the lake,” he said, adding he gets calls from people wondering if access to the reservoir is open to the public.
Once open, people will be allowed to fish, kayak, canoe and use paddle and electric boats.
No sailboats, gas-powered boats or swimming will be allowed.
The city of Canton and the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority in 2000 entered into a 50-year agreement to build the pumped-storage reservoir just off the Etowah River.
Cobb owns 75 percent of the reservoir while Canton has a 25 percent stake in the project.
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 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 city took on $10.3 million in debt in 2005 for the reservoir and another $8 million two years later to help fund its portion of the project.
In 2009, the council approved bonds of as much as $8 million to finance the remaining costs.
Canton has been trying to unload its share of the reservoir, but has been met with opposition by Cobb due to the first right of refusal, which only allows the city to sell its share if Cobb agrees to the buyer.
Councilman Hooky Huffman said he’s glad to see the city make progress towards getting the access point ready for the public.
He noted the deal has taken longer than the city had in mind.
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Mayor Gene Hobgood said the agreement is “certainly a step forward in making that happen,” but added there are more that needs to be worked out such as security and the city possibly charging residents to use the reservoir.
“We’ve got a great recreational asset there and we need to begin taking advantage of that,” he said.