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An agreement between the Dade County Water Authority; Lookout Mountain, Ga.; and Covenant College took a step forward in December after the town approved the future takeover of the Flintstone subdivision's sewer system.

"It's a completely dilapidated system built by the (U.S.) Air Force back in the 1950s," outgoing Lookout Mountain, Ga., Mayor Tom Gifford said. "Fixing it is a total win-win situation."

"We're getting the final contract's i's dotted and t's crossed," Mr. Gifford said.

Under the pending agreement, the town will assume responsibility for operations and maintenance after an estimated $553,000 renovation, officials said.

Until the agreement is final, the system will be operated by the college and owned by Dade County Water and Sewer Authority.

For Covenant College, the agreement could end years of maintaining sewers for the 30-odd homes in the subdivision and lead to long-awaited renovations for the system that serves the mountaintop community, officials said.

The system was built to serve the Flintstone Air Force base, where a small radar station operated on the mountain until 1962. The community's old clay-pipe design is aging and allows rainwater to infiltrate the system, which creates maintenance problems and a burden on the system, officials said.

Lookout Mountain City Attorney Bill Pickering said the town will start operating the system when renovations are completed to the town's satisfaction.

"The agreement that has been reached basically calls for the existing sewer system of this subdivision to be renovated with a combination of funding consisting of government grants and a significant contribution from Covenant College, as well as a contribution from the Dade County Water and Sewer Authority," he said.

A timeline on the project will come after the agreement is finalized by all parties in the next few weeks and funding is secure, officials said.

Doug Anderton, Dade County Water and Sewer Authority manager, said the agreement will put the system in capable hands.

"This will be a new system and it'll be great for the 30 homeowners there," Mr. Anderton said. "And it'll be under the ownership and maintenance of a city that's well equipped and qualified to do that."

Covenant College Vice President for Advancement and College Operations Troy Duble said the agreement will get the school out of the sewer business.

"It'll end up a great thing for the community," Mr. Duble said. "Once we're done, we can turn over a shiny new sewer system and they can take it on," he said.

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