Lawrenceville council balks at well

LAWRENCEVILLE - With the rains bringing relief to Georgia's drought, the well program to reduce Lawrenceville's dependence on Lake Lanier took another stormy turn.

This week, city leaders were ready to move forward on a contract to remove uranium from water in a well on Ezzard Street.

But after council members voted to move forward on the well a year ago, they balked Monday.

"I don't think we need to fool with the contaminated water," said Councilman P.K. Martin, who voted for the project last year. "We have other options we didn't have 14 months ago, and the situation isn't as dire."

For months, officials have been working on opening many of the wells the city closed decades ago, when Gwinnett's water system expanded. Mayor Rex Millsaps said the program wasn't just tied to the drought but was to give a reduced price to residents.

Two wells have been open at Rhodes Jordan park for years, and a third opened last year.

The Ezzard Street well would have been the fourth, but Martin said seven other wells will open soon, making the controversy of the uranium outweigh the need.

Millsaps said the chemical issues would be solved by the contractors, and officials worked on issues with the contract for a year.

"It's extremely frustrating," he said of the council's inaction. A motion to approve the contract was made, but it died when another councilman would not step forward to second the motion.