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New delay for lake: dredging permit needed to continue

Peachtree City residents who are displeased with the unsightly nature of the lowered Lake Peachtree are going to be disheartened.

While the county was hoping to swiftly order up a dredging operation necessary to remove silt, a snag has occurred. Regulators have decided that permits will be necessary and that will surely extend the timeline for the dredging operation.

The county, which uses the city-owned lake as a reservoir, has refrained from refilling the lake because of significant structural problems with the spillway. Those problems were discovered nearly two months after the county lowered the lake as planned in February to allow nearby residents to conduct dock and shore maintenance.

Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown, in a letter Thursday to the mayor and city council of Peachtree City, has promised that the county will continue to communicate with city officials regarding the status of Lake Peachtree.

Last week, the city council watched a high-definition video of a camera snaking underneath the spillway through a crack. The footage showed a cavern-like environment under the concrete surface of the spillway, which calls into question whether the spillway would hold if the lake were to be refilled.

The city and county have an agreement dating back to the late 1960s, with several modifications, that requires the county to maintain the dam and spillway in exchange for being allowed to use the lake as a drinking water reservoir.

Brown in his letter to city officials said the county “intends to honor its agreement.” and that “an open line of communication” would be kept with the city.

“As of the last update from (County Administrator Steve) Rapson, nothing further has been received from the state, and the project timeline as set out in the June 2, 2014 email remains on track concerning the spillway and refilling of Lake Peachtree,” Brown wrote.

Brown noted that the county, as the city has requested, “is moving forward with all deliberate speed to adequately address the dredging issue.”

“Fayette County agrees it will require input from Peachtree City to arrive at a solution which is satisfactory to all concerned,” Brown said in the letter.

Since it is a certainty the lake level will be down for at least two more months if not more, the city has asked the county to proceed with dredging the lake. That process involves the removal of silt and dirt that has accumulated on the lake bottom.

At last week’s council meeting, Councilman Eric Imker took the county to task for taking so long to resolve the issue, even though the immediate delay is due to a key ruling due from state water regulators.

Instead of waiting for that ruling, Imker argued that the county should design a more intensive (and costly) repair plan for the dam in case the state determines such is necessary. Imker added that he knew the county would prefer the cheaper scenario.

The city has retained the services of a private attorney due to the contractual obligations outlined in the contract that allows the county to withdraw water from the lake.

Councilman Mike King last week questioned whether the contract requires the county to conduct periodic inspections of the dam and spillway.

It also has been noted that the city must check under nearby Kelly Drive to make sure it is structurally sound as well, given that the likely culprit of the cavern underneath the spillway is erosion.


G35 Dude's picture

This feels like an episode of the 3 Stooges.

Hey, hey, hey...the three stooges (take it from me) are now five and the words be careful what you wish for here come to mind.

Anyone wonder how much this second attorney is costing the taxpayers of Peachtree City?

Along with former PTC Councils, City Managers etc....time to hold the Counties feet to the fire IMHO.

The contract is one of the easier ones to understand. A simple tickler file should remind the city manager to call over to the county every 7 or so years to get them working on the dredging.

The county should be prepared to send out RFP's based on two methods. Barge system for wet conditions and earth moving machines for when they can lower the lake. Then they have the ability to analyze the costs and the time it would take for either method and make a sound decision.

I understand Imkers rant at the meeting was probably just theatrics because Mr. Brown was present and seated in with the public.

Finally got a chance this weekend to walk ON the lake. It looks to me that there is an awful lot of silt on the bottom. My bet is that we can lose a loader in there for months.

As for the spillway, its obvious that the former water director along with the city failed to really inspect this. This should be done like clockwork between the two entities every year. Would love the see the records on this.

I was able to get close to the spillway, but didn't walk past the fence. (Even though the fence is open 10 feet away) I was thinking that it might be easy to simply drill some holes at the top and pump in some high strength concrete or grout mix to fill the voids. I think I was expecting something bigger.

Former Council, city managers, etc.

Funny, I seem to read that Vanna, Erica and Kimmie have been on board for almost 6 years now. Where, in that time period, do you see "former"?

What does holding the county's feet to the fire consist of, exactly?

Is there something you are not telling us?

You think it has been handled correctly? looks like it has been FUBARED to me....but hey, I am open to your comments...



Let's let a few facts emerge that the mayor has so far refused to make public. Then we will chat.

I disagree with those who feel it is okay for elected to agree to fund a second attorney and not explain why to those who live here. Let's hear why then we will chat. Till then, let's listen to the quiet on the blog about this issue. No, this is not a troll comment. Just having my say, as it says up top here.

I almost bought a used Hobie Cat this spring....

over at Lake McIntosh last week.

I think we should start a pool on how many will

1) go into the new marsh on 4th of July and

2) how many will then need to be pulled out of the marsh and

3) who is going to pull them out

I am looking forward to this almost as much as the parade.

Oh, nice segue, too:)

Gets a little crazier every year for the fireworks....well barring rainouts.

I can't either and I would like to understand the logic.

I speculate it may have something to do with the county manager insinuating a few weeks back that the lake may no longer be needed. Could there be a paragraph in one of the contract addendums that address the issue of not requiring water at some point before the contract expires?

Cyclist's picture

more stories about vehicles stuck in the muck.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

forward to it, myself.:)

1. Core thru the wall from the top and drive about 3 or 4 piles into the ground until the top of the pile is one foot below the top of the wall.

2. Drill another 5 holes about 8" diameter on top of the wall until you find the voids

3. Excavate both side of the wall at the bottom about 5 feet, fill bottom of trench with stone and build a rebar cage along length of wall (both sides).

4. Use a flowable grout and pump into spillway holes and trenches on both sides.

5. Let sit for 28 days with wet burlap on top.

Problem solved for $250K

Signed Angus MacGyver aka "Jerry Rig"

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