For an informational story on the Bear Creek Resevoir from Nov. 8 click here.
According to documents obtained by The Covington News, Newton County Attorney W. T. “Tommy” Craig was removed as project manager for the South Fulton Municipal and Regional Water and Sewer Authority’s Bear Creek Reservoir.
Craig, said Vince R. Williams, a member of the Authority and Mayor of Union City, has been “part of the project for a number of years. A lot of promises and a lot of work that should have been done, wasn’t done. For the amount of money we were paying, we weren’t getting the services we were paying for.
“We thought it would be in the authority’s best interest to move forward in another direction,” he said.
Williams said, “We wish him nothing but the best, but the thing is, we’ve exhausted a lot of time, energy and a lot of tax payer money in this process. We certainly couldn’t continue doing business that way.”
At a July meeting of the Authority, former Craig employees, Andrea Gray and Laura Benz were appointed the authority’s reservoir’s project managers.
In February of 2012 Hall County released Craig as consultant on the he proposed Glades Resevoir project. For more on that see the Gainesville Times article here.
Craig, who has been the Newton County Attorney since the 1970s and a water consultant for the Newton County Bear Creek Water Supply Reservoir, has been working for 18 years to get the necessary Army Corps of Engineers permit to build the reservoir.
Questions have been raised about the need for it since the process first began as the county moved from being one of the fastest growing counties in the country in the early to being one of the most economically distressed in 2009, with growth rate that has slowed to less than 1 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to U.S. Census figures.
Craig did obtain a $21 million low-interest state loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority in 2012. Today, the reservoir and associated costs, including upgrading some existing infrastructure, are currently estimated at $125 million, up from the original $63,685,381.