Lavonia Pursues More Funding for Gateway Sewer Line Project

The City of Lavonia is applying for a $2.2 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for improvements to the City’s Gateway Industrial Park sewer line project.

City Manager Charles Cawthon tells WLHR News GEFA has already offered the City the $2.2 million.

At last week’s meeting Cawthon asked the City Council to approve the paperwork in order for the loan to go through.

“As you know we were awarded $2-million from EDA, but we also have to make up the balance of the project with a loan from GEFA. What we’re proposing is a $2.6-million dollar loan with a $750,000 debt forgiveness right off the bat and a 1.12% interest rate, which is their most favorable rate. And we’re pleased to be able to secure that,” Cawthon told the Council.

The Lavonia City Council is expected to approve that at their next meeting in October.

The need for a larger water/sewer trunk line from the Gateway Industrial Park came four years ago with the announcement of a major German industries going into the Gateway II section of the park.

At that time, former City Manager Gary Fesperman told the City Council the current water line was already at 75% capacity and could not handle future expansion at the Industrial Park.

Fesperman said expanding the SR59 line would also require upgrading three lift stations to handle the increased flow.

He also noted other sites, such as the 350 acres owned by Milliken will likely also be developed in the area and more sewer capacity will be needed there as well.

Since then, the City has been working on developing a plan for a new water/sewer trunk line.

Lavonia is working in conjunction with Hart County where the industrial park is located to build the new sewer trunk line.

Hart County has also applied for GEFA loans to help finance the project.