County retains consultant to coordinate mitigation work for Tired Creek project
Even before Monday’s ruling by U.S. federal B. Avant Edenfield knocking down the legal challenge of Georgia River Network, American Rivers and the Leon County, Fla., Commission to stop the construction of Tired Creek Lake, Grady County officials had been moving forward with the construction of the 960-acre fishing lake.
The most recent action was taken Tuesday night when Grady County commissioners voted unanimously to retain the services of Kent Campbell and Eco-South Environmental Consultants to coordinate the mitigation site work required in the federal 404 permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizing the construction of the lake.
Campbell was the county’s consultant on the mitigation plan developed as part of the permit application and because of his unique perspective and expertise, the board voted this week to contract with his firm to coordinate the mitigation site work and monitoring.
The Eco-South proposal is for a fee not to exceed $250,000 and Campbell estimates it will require 18 months to complete.
Grady County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley told county commissioners Tuesday night that work on the dam can be underway while the mitigation work takes place.
“You just can’t plug the dam until the mitigation work is completed,” Cauley said.
Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye, responding to a question asked by Commissioner Al Ball about bidding the service out, reminded the board, “He knows what the plan is, he developed it. We could put this out and request proposals, but you wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples. No one else knows this mitigation plan like him.”
Commissioner Charles Norton also pointed out that Campbell has worked with Richard Morgan of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “The Corps is familiar with his work as well,” Norton said.
Commissioner T.D. David said he would typically agree to solicit other proposals and bids, but after hearing the comments of the county administrator and the county attorney he moved to retain the services of Eco-South.
Norton seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously.
According to Moye, Campbell will report to and update officials with Wood & Partners, who were recently retained by the board of commissioners as the lake project administrators.
At its March 6 meeting, the board of commissioners contracted with Wood & Partners, a major landscape architectural and land planning firm with offices in Tallahassee for project administrative services over the construction of the 960-acre Tired Creek Lake.
County officials met recently with David Malcolm and Charlie Johnson of Wood & Partners, Inc., at their Tallahassee office to discuss the array of services the firm can provide the county.
The county had previously contracted with Wood & Partners to help in the development of the lake master plan.
Under the terms of the agreement ratified and approved by the board of commissioners earlier this month, Wood & Partners will serve as the project administrator and will coordinate and schedule tasks involving all of the subconsultants on the project.
After consulting with all of the experts involved in the project, a master list of project tasks will be assembled and Wood & Partners will create an overall project schedule and monitor the progress of the lake construction.
Wood & Partners will also host a strategic planning session to focus future project planning, governance and policy, revenue and finance, communications and outreach, and operations and maintenance.
The land planners will be charged with developing an overall project budget including associated priority projects.
Fees for the work are being broken down into phases. The initial project coordination and related services will be billed at a lump sum of $10,750 plus reimbursable expenses not to exceed $1,000.
The ongoing project coordination services outlined in the agreement will be billed on an hourly basis not to exceed a total of $15,000 plus reimbursable expenses.