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Dacula to assist with pump station

DACULA - City leaders voted Thursday night to provide financial assistance to upgrade the Stanley Road sewer pump station.

The $45,000 initial investment in the upgrade is a first step in a project that will add much-needed sewer capacity to the Winder Highway commercial district. The increased sewer capacity will also allow the city to eventually take the Second Avenue pump station and possibly the Dacula High School pump station offline.

"This is making an investment in our future," said mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, who added that Gwinnett County officials have been asked to provide financial assistance but declined. Councilman Gregory Reeves said Gwinnett County should pay for the upgrade, since the county will benefit in the long run from taking two additional stations offline.

Once council members voted to approve the initial $45,000 investment, which was not budgeted this year and will be taken from city reserves, Wilbanks shared with city council members and the audience Gwinnett's long-term policy regarding Dacula sewer service. Referring to the county's "Policies and Strategies in the Gwinnett Unified Plan" document, Wilbanks said Gwinnett officials will "hold back" on sewer extensions in the eastern part of the county, which includes Dacula. The draft document suggests that area of the county should be left rural, possibly attracting the development of large estate homes.

City administrator Jim Osborn said he has not given up on getting help from the county for sewer extensions and upgrades.

Council OKs contract with county for inmate labor

City council members voted to execute an inter-governmental agreement with Gwinnett County for the use of inmate labor. For $310 per day, Gwinnett will provide a work crew of seven to 10 inmates plus the necessary equipment for projects such as roadside cleanup.

Wilbanks remarked that this agreement allows the city to use inmate labor if and when the need arises; currently, there are no projects planned that require the use of prison workers.

Dacula High School wrestlers recognized

Wilbanks introduced three state AAAA wrestling champions at Thursday night's council meeting and commended the young men for their dedication and athleticism. Frankie Miller, Noah Hunt and Josh Hall are recent winners in their weight divisions at the state wrestling championship tournament held at the Gwinnett Arena.

Wilbanks also recognized Coach Jason Holcombe Thursday. Holcombe thanked Wilbanks and the city of Dacula for supporting wrestling at Dacula High School.