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County saves thousands in dam fix

The leak at Turner Lake has been fixed without leaking more cash out of Newton County for the project.

Newton County crews led by Civil Engineer Chester Clegg pulled out what appeared to be blocks from a spillway pipe, and repaired another 12-inch pipe less about two weeks ago. The old pipe was filled with 4 ½ yards of flow-fill concrete to stop any more water leaking from the lake.

According to Newton County Chairman Keith Ellis the lake was lowered six feet. It will be filled — eventually. Crews are awaiting rains to refill the lake to what it was before the leak.

Ellis said the repairs cost $1,000, significantly less than the $7,500-$10,000 the Newton County Board of Commissioners approved for the project back in August.

“We challenged our public works department,” Ellis said.

The savings were made possible by the work being done in house. This was the second time in a matter of months Newton County was able to save money on construction projects by using the public works department. Clegg also led crews in building the Sewell Road Bridge

“We have some talented people in public works,” Ellis said. “We’re building bridges and we’re repairing dams. If you let people use their talents, it’s amazing what people are capable of.”