Reservoir bill passes

The General Assembly late Thursday passed legislation that could open the door to more reservoirs statewide and cost the city of Atlanta millions in revenue.

The bill passed the House late last year, and the Senate on Tuesday of this week.

The bill, HB 406, was intended to help build one reservoir in south Fulton. But late Thursday, it was broadened. The city of Atlanta lost assurances it would hold onto $125 million a year in new sales taxes to make up for the loss of revenue from water customers in south Fulton.

At mid-afternoon, it looked like it could die after the House refused to agree to the Senate version. But the Senate later backed off, allowing it to head to the desk of the governor.

Rep. Mike Coan (R-Lawrenceville) said the governor wanted the legislation, which he said will enable construction of a reservoir in south Fulton County to relieve pressure on the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier.

Some House members voiced concern about the impact on other regions of the state and said this project,  like other reservoirs, should be delayed until completion of a statewide water plan.

– Staff writers Aaron Sheinin and Ernie Suggs contributed to this report.

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