1 permit on the way for Huddleston work

Thu, 07/26/2007 - 2:59pm
By: John Munford

City hopes to start construction in October

Repair work for Huddleston Pond is in the bidding process now, and one of the two permits needed will likely be approved in the next few weeks, according to City Engineer David Borkowski.

The Army Corps of Engineers is close to approving the wetland disturbance permit needed for the project but the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s approval is needed for a state waters buffer variance, Borkowski told the City Council last week.

Borkowski said he was told a state EPD official would begin reviewing the permit application next week.

“So that’s something we don’t have a whole lot of control over,” Borkowski said.

“Can we go up there and sit on their desk?” asked Councilman Steve Boone.

“If you’ve got time to go up there, feel free” replied Councilwoman Judi-ann Rutherford.

“I’ve got time,” Boone said.

Borkowski said if the state approves the permit in time, the contract for the project can be let in September with work beginning in October.

Boone said he gets phone calls every week about the project. The pond has been almost completely drained because of damage to a spillpipe, and a new earthen dam will have to be built after the pipe is replaced. When the problem was spotted in March 2006, crews attempted to repair the pipe, but the work was fruitless, and the city had to drain the lake almost completely in September 2006 to avoid a potential breach of the dam because more extensive problems were discovered.

“It’s an atrocity, it’s gone on two years,” Boone said, adding later that the project seems to be stuck “in a bureaucratic quagmire.”

The city plans to add new exercise equipment and a new playground at the park in conjunction with the rehabilitation of the pond’s structure.

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