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Springfield OKs GEFA loan for upgrades
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The Springfield City Council approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing a GEFA loan agreement for the upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility and addition of a spray field for $5.4 million.

“Accepting the resolution is a requirement for the GEFA loan,” Mayor Barton Alderman said.

The council accepted a bid from Sam Martin Well Drilling for the new well in the amount of $612,456. The highest bid was $665,063.

“Any time I see the bids come in fairly close like this I feel like we’ve done something good,” Alderman said.

City Manager Brett Bennett said he thought the projected price was a little more than $700,000.

The council also authorized Bennett to apply for a GEFA loan for $1.38 million to cover the city’s portion of the Highway 21 water line project. Bennett said it will cover everything from “tank to tank.”

“This is going to be for our share of the water line,” Alderman said.

The Industrial Development Authority also will be contributing to the project.

Members also approved a soil erosion and sediment control ordinance.

“This is a model ordinance,” Bennett said, noting it came from the Georgia Soil and Water Commission. “They don’t want you to change anything. We’ll submit this to the proper authority, and in, my understanding, not very long we will become an issuing authority.”

Councilman Max Niedlinger said with the fee being placed in the ordinance the city is “set in stone.”

“We are setting ourselves up for a maximum,” he said.

The ordinance has a fee of $80 per acre. Bennett said $40 goes to the state Environmental Protection Division.

Niedlinger said the state could raise its fee, but the city could not change the fee without amending the ordinance.

“There’s no way you could leave it open, that fee,” he said. “If the state increases there’s to $150, we’re not going to know anything about it, and we’re going to be sitting there with $80.”

Bennett said if the state changed its fees, the city would have enough notification to amend the ordinance to adjust for the fee change.

Niedlinger read a portion of the ordinance, and said he didn’t understand it.

“That’s why we’re not going to hire you to enforce it,” Council member Charles Hinely said. “There’s a good bit in here that’s going to help us.”

City Inspector Wendell Arnsdorff said the ordinance has the regulations and penalties described to allow the city to enforce the ordinance properly.

“I don’t foresee a lot of expense in your managing,” Arnsdorff said.

He said the inspections would take approximately an hour, and if there is an issue there would be the time to write a letter to deal with the concerns. If the requirements to follow the ordinance were not met the permit holder would be sent to city court.

“I don’t see it much as a money trade off in or out,” Arnsdorff said. “I see it as a tool for the city.”

He said larger sites will have engineered plans, and they will follow the plans.

“Most that type development they are going to do it right because they know what the penalties can be—up to $2,500 per day,” Arnsdorff said.

He said it would give the city the authority to address issues that are more likely to come from smaller projects that are “left unattended.”

Arnsdorff recommended Bennett place information about the ordinance and permitting in the city newsletter to make residents aware of the ordinance and regulations.