CONYERS - The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners (BOC) had a discussion about continuing the rehabilitation project on the Lakefield Dam and Reservoir during its work session Tuesday.
The dam's restoration effort had been suspended since August because the original contract from 2012 expired. However work must resume soon to prevent enforcement action by the Georgia Safe Dams Program and to maintain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding.
The property was donated to the county and it has been "breached for some time," says Rockdale Chairman and CEO Richard Oden.
"We're going to have to take care of that dam," he said. "With (the) county accepting that property, they accepted a huge liability."
The contract, if approved, will be awarded to Atlanta-based Golder Associates, Inc. for a total sum of $148,500, which will be paid entirely using grant money.
Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt was greatly concerned with how the county will proceed with the widening of the road surrounding the dam.
"I know we had talked last year about perhaps taking a look at either two-lane or four-lane option for that road to be connected to the dam," said Nesbitt.
The road project would widen "that road between (state route) 138 all the way around to Flat Shoals Road," according to Oden.
Rockdale Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker told Nesbitt the best thing to focus on now is the dam itself.
"We want to go ahead and utilize this grant to do the repair of the dam," he said. "We can continue discussion of the road if we need to do that, but we need to move forward with the repair."
Nesbitt continuing to inquire about widening the road surrounding the dam and asked if there were any "comprehensive" plans for the project to get funding for the future.
"That's been a conversation when you and I both came into office," said Nesbitt to Oden.
Oden responded by saying there's an action but it's only a plan.
"It's going to require funding. We don't have the funding," Oden said. "We're going to have find the funding."
Walker added the county won't do anything to risk not receiving more grant money in the future for the road.
"We will continue repairs following federal guidelines so we don't jeopardize any potential funding for the road project in the future," he said.
The BOC will meet again Tuesday, June 9, for its voting session at 10 a.m. at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street.