Let me explain the good and bad as I see it on Lake Lanier Islands going on a private water system.
First and most important, Lake Lanier Islands is not a private resort. It is a State Authority. Meaning it is a “Government Entity.”
Let’s start with the bad. The City of Gainesville is loosing a water customer that contributes a significant amount of revenue to the City’s budget. Worse yet, what will the City do to replace that money? My guess is they raise water rates on everyone to replace the lost revenue. Now the City of Gainesville could not be dumber in this whole situation. First, did you know that the owner of the well in question offered to sell it to Gainesville long before they offered it to the Islands? Did you know that Lake Lanier Islands tried to negotiate a better water rate with the City of Gainesville before they looked at buying the well water? When the Islands decided to buy the well water they went to the City of Gainesville to try and work out a mutually beneficial agreement. Did you know that Lake Lanier Islands asked the City if they could pay them money to put the well water in their pipes and transport the water to the Islands? What did the City say? They said no way! Not our pipes. Why would the City turn away the money? Because the City thought that would block the well owner from getting the water to the Islands. Little did they know the State of GA came through with funds to build the pipeline. Also the City did not realize the new pipeline could lie right beside the City’s line because Lake Lanier Islands is a Government Entity meaning it can use the right of way. So imagine that, two water lines running side by side doing the exact same thing. So the City of Gainesville in all its wisdom has royally screwed up the whole situation. They were hoping for one last “Ace Up the Sleeve.”
Flowery Branch can stop the deal if they can prove the flow from their wells will be impacted by the private well in question. So Gainesville calls Flowery Branch and says, can you do us a favor and block the deal? Sure says Flowery Branch, we will do our best. Flowery Branch knew before they ever spoke to Gainesville that they were different water supplies. They had already tested to see if the water supply was the same because the well’s owner offered to sell it to Flowery Branch. Flowery Branch tested it because if it affected the existing wells then it was unsellable. Flowery Branch and Gainesville are just wasting time and money trying to figure out how to fix an unfixable problem.
Only in Government do things cost more in bulk. According to the Gainesville Times (http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/74911/) the Islands had to pay $0.64 per gallon. That is a ridiculous number to have to pay. If regular citizens had to pay that we would be voting every elected official in the area out of office.
Now the good news as I see it. So the Islands will get the water they need at a significant savings and at the same time it will not affect the Lake level in any negative way. Don’t forget that a private citizen gets to sell his property at a profit in today’s market. Lastly, I hope this issue brings light to how ridiculous the City of Gainesville and the Water Department are about water rates.