Improvements at area reservoir inching forward
by Marcus E. Howard
September 19, 2012 01:29 AM | 1852 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Canton mayor Gene Hobgood. <br> File photo
Canton mayor Gene Hobgood.
File photo
CANTON — Officials will discuss the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir at the next Canton City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Canton City Hall.

On the agenda are the issues of installing a SCADA computer monitoring system and reservoir office on site, which have been points of contention between the city and Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, which jointly own and operate the reservoir.

An advertisement for bidding has already appeared in the Cherokee Tribune, the county’s legal organ.

Mayor Gene Hobgood said he believes council members at the meeting will give their formal approval for the publishing of the advertisement even though it already ran. City staffers were directed to go forward with the advertisement at the last meeting, he said.

“This meeting, all they will do basically is formalize their approval,” Hobgood said.

The supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, is a computer monitoring system that allows the authority to remotely monitor activity at the reservoir and dam.

The city is responsible for paying 25 percent of the SCADA system’s cost or roughly $250,000. The water authority has said it worked on the system’s design for two years and has been ready to take it to bid for months now to be ready for next summer, when water demand is highest.

But the city has not moved as fast as the authority has wanted on the projects.

Canton attempted to unload its share of the reservoir but has been met with opposition by the authority due to a first right of refusal agreement, which only allows the city to sell its share if Cobb agrees to the buyer.

Hobgood acknowledged that the authority’s opposition has contributed to some conflict between the two sides.

In turn, the city’s negotiations to sell its 25 percent stake to the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority have “gone nowhere,” he said. He also said cost has been a factor as well.

“There’s been some concern about the cost that’s been going on, particularly the $350,000 or $400,000 reservoir manager’s office up there,” he said. “It seems a little bit on the steep side for some of our folks. I think the SCADA system at that time was planned to go inside that building or the controls for it, so those two were sort of linked together.”

Nevertheless, at least part of the project is going forward, with sealed bids for the SCADA system to be received by the city and authority until 11 a.m. Oct. 5 at the authority’s administrative office at 1170 Atlanta Industrial Drive in Marietta, at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud.

“If the council thinks the bids are too high, they may not approve the awarding of the project,” Hobgood said.

Glenn Page, general manager of the authority, was not available for comment.

On Thursday, council members also plan to discuss and possibly take action on restructuring the city’s long-term debt, which may include Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loans related to water and sewer improvement projects, and one or more bond issuances.

Chief Finance Officer Nathan Ingram said the city is looking at a variety of private and public options. The debt in question ranges between $5 and $10 million, he said.

Other items on the agenda include:

* Approval of a resolution to abandon Cochran Road;

n Approval of a name change from Commerce Boulevard to Northside-Cherokee Boulevard;

* Discussion of the business license fee;

* Discussion of the senior citizen and permanently disabled garbage rate;

* Discussion and possible action on an Atkins contract amendment.
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