PlanFirst Success Story: WasteWater Plant Expansion

DCA’s PlanFirst program recognizes and rewards Georgia communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plan. Our PlanFirst “Success Story” series highlights these cities and counties by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map

As a component of the Comprehensive Plans’ Community Facilities and Services, the City of Hiawassee completed its expansion of the Waste-Water Treatment Plant project in 2020. 

By providing server service for the entire county, apart from the City of Young Harris, the component called for increased capacity to the plant to allow growth in the Hiawassee community. The expansion to the plant enabled future economic development while also being critical to area growth. 

The city leadership approved a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) loan of $800,000, and the mayor secured an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $600,000 for the project. The designation of PlanFirst allowed for a reduction of GEFA loan interest rate by .5%. Without the reduction, the city would have been placed in a much longer time loan leading to larger interest payments. While the entire project carried a time frame of two years, it was completed in early 2020. 

The Waste-Water permit was doubled and is expected to provide adequate utility service for many years to come.