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Out of the Flood: County seeks improving Milstead with grant to bring sewer, home repairs
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The Milstead community could be getting more improvements by way of state grant money.

During the Rockdale County Board of Commissioner's (BOC) work session Tuesday morning, the board discussed an application that would allow homes in the community to attach to the wastewater system of Rockdale Water Resources and receive any other general home improvements as needed.

This Community Development Block Grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will allow the county to move into Phase 2 of its project, called the Milstead 2015 Sewer Improvements and Housing Rehabilitation. Phase 1, which is still being completed, went towards stormwater drainage improvement in the area.

The one million dollar sewer project will take these homeowner-operated-only homes off a septic tank system. It will only affect these properties because they were part of the first phase of the project, says Tanesha Lanier, project coordinator, and that makes for a "stronger" application when applying to DCA.

"This is a needs based grant. Phase 1 was for Yellow and Grime Street infrastructure improvements, so in order to receive more points on the application, if we target those funds towards the same area we will (more like it receive funds)," said Lanier. It's a competitive application. It's not an entitlement. We won't automatically receive the funds, but the stronger the application the better."

In order for the county to proceed, they will need to require the county to acquire easements in the area.
Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt felt the improvement project was a big step for the Milstead area.

"As the chairman would say, this is huge. This is a big deal," he said. "I mean for those residents in that particular community to come off the septic system and to be able to tie into Rockdale resources in terms of wastewater, that is a major accomplishment in terms of infrastructure in that particular area."

On top of that, six properties, located at Yellow and Grime Street right of Ga. Highway 20, will receive any other major improvements to the property. One or two of the homes may need to undergo demolition and reconstruction, says Lanier.

Renovation costs could range from 50 to 126 thousand dollars.
"Anything that's wrong with property, or inadequate, not up to code will be replaced," she said.

The deadline to apply for the grant is next month. The board will take a vote on the application during its voting session next Tuesday, Mar. 24, at 10 a.m. at the Assembly Hall building, 901 Main Street, Conyers.