The decision to grant Presbyterian Homes of Georgia sewage capacity for its proposed Continuing Care Retirement Community on Rocky Branch Road followed back-and-forth communication among Oconee County officials reflecting differences of opinion about how to handle sewage allocation for the project.
The project needed that sewage capacity allocation to begin the process of review that is now underway.
On Aug. 31, Chris Thomas, director of the Oconee County Utility Department, wrote to Smith Planning Group, representing PHG, indicating that “water and sewer capacity in the amount of 62,906 is available” for the new location of a Presbyterian Village.
That decision was a reversal of his earlier position that no sewer capacity could be allocated to the project because of county policy restricting that capacity to industrial and commercial users.
County Administrative Officer Alan Theriault and County Attorney Daniel Haygood initially agreed with that position, but all three later reversed course.
Thomas had indicated to me when I talked with him by telephone on Sept. 27 that the decision to grant the sewage capacity had been a complex one that he did not make alone.
I learned some of the details of how the actual decision was made from email messages sent by county officials.
The documents released to me provide a timeline for the project and indicate that sewer capacity has been a concern from the beginning. The only other topic that comes close in terms of amount of discussion is helium balloons.
For details of that timeline and an explanation of the helium balloons, go to Oconee County Observations.