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Land sale to Lilburn over first hurdle

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Despite opposing arguments from a councilman and the mayor, the Gwinnett Water and Sewerage Authority signed off Monday on the sale of land from a former sewage plant to the city of Lilburn for a tourist attraction.

Commissioners are scheduled to make the final decision Tuesday on the $1.3 million deal.

"It'll be a premiere site for an economic lift in the city," Mayor Johnny Crist said of buying the 37.6 acres along Indian Trail Road. "It sits at such a strategic location for us."

While the proposed sale is to the city's downtown development authority, Crist said the city intends to pass along the expense of the land to a developer, which is in negotiations with the city and Big League Dreams, a company that has brought replica ballfields to the West Coast.

Councilman Thomas Wight asked the authority to delay its decision, after constituents reached out to him about questions of the property's value and the deal.

Last year, contractors dismantled the Jackson Creek Water Reclamation Facility, after upgrades to the county sewer system left it dispensible. The land is appraised at $2 million, but a required environmental remediation of the land is expected to cost $690,000. The authorities agreed to a $1.31 million price tag.

"It's really a question of timing (not price)," Water and Sewerage Authority Chairman Michael Sullivan said. "If we conducted (the work) ourselves, we would merely add that back in."

He added that the water authority's decision was not about the viability of the project but if the sale was in the best interest of water and sewer customers.

"For the public as a whole, this is probably a good thing for the site to be cleaned up quickly ... and for Lilburnites to be able to enjoy it," authority member Chip Randall added, commenting on the plan for the ballfields to be built by next year.

Comments

LovinLilburn 2 years ago

Kudos to the City of Lilburn leaders who have taken the first step to put their redevelopment plan in place. Everything seems carefully planned out to benefit the citizens of Lilburn now and in the future. Thanks to the Water and Sewer Authority for recommending the sale to the Board of Commissioners. It's time for all of us who love living in Lilburn to come together and give it our full support...and roll out the welcome mat when visitors start rolling in.

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gwinnettresident1 2 years ago

You are so full of it!!!!! Its going to turn out to be a taxpayer nightmare.

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R 2 years ago

While we certainly "hope" for the "change" you predict, may your leaders have an exit strategy in place NOW if it bombs...

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BuzzG 2 years ago

Taxpayers of Lilburn, get ready to grab you ankles. This may hurt a bit.

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LifeIsGood 2 years ago

Hey...I've got an idea! Why not FIRST develop the other 15 properties that the City, I mean the "DDA" bought at the tax payers expense?

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gwinnettresident1 2 years ago

I am with you Buzzg. We need to buy that property so the new upcoming tax increase can be justified.

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gwinnettresident1 2 years ago

Taxpayers of Lilburn will have the burden of paying for this thing. Oh but someone else will walk with the profits from it. Why didnt we get to vote on this on the ballot. Johnny said on the news tonight that if it were brought for a vote it would be turned down....I rest my case.

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