By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Town of Buckhead’s aging water system has prompted local officials to seek a $750,000 grant to improve and upgrade water service.
“The vast majority of the water lines that run to the Town of Buckhead are the original water lines–over 50 years old,” explained Cheryl Saffold, Buckhead’s town clerk. “They are antiquated and need to be updated to avoid a major disruption in water service should any of our main lines break.”
According to Saffold, Buckhead is currently in the process of applying for the grant Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
According to Buckhead officials, “The Town of Buckhead is considering applying to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a Community Development Block Grant of up to $750,000 for the purpose of improving water service lines. These funds must be used to primarily benefit low-and-moderate income persons.”
According to Saffold, Buckhead needs to accomplish water service improvement due to “antiquated” infrastructure and a growing population and housing stock, which puts more usage in an already aging out water system.
“It’s time to get this done,” said Saffold. “We need parts of our water system replaced and updated. These are all typical things that need to be done but something that a small town like Buckhead can’t just write a check for. It’s would be beneficial to our citizens if we could get this grant instead of having to raise taxes to pay for this.”
Part of the application process included a public hearing to give local citizens the opportunity to voice their questions, opinions, and concerns about water service in the Town of Buckhead. That meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 18.
The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC) is aiding Buckhead throughout the DCA’s application process for the grant.
“They are guiding us through everything and putting us in touch with the right people, making sure we are at the right place at the right time doing the right thing to get us through this process. They are spearheading this for us and it’s wonderful help.”
Buckhead must complete all requirements and criteria for the grant application by April 2020, and should Buckhead be awarded the grant, funds would be given out around October 2020.