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Surveyors put to work on lake project

Grady County commissioners met with a consortium of local surveyors Tuesday to outline a plan to survey the lake bottom of the 960 acre Tired Creek Lake so that timber harvesting can begin later this year.
The county is dealing with representatives of Cumberland Land Surveyors, Williams Land Surveying, Joey Brock Land Surveying, LLC, and Larry Grogan & Associates on the lake project.
Matt Jordan of Cumberland Land Surveyors presented the proposal on behalf of the surveyors to the county commission Tuesday morning.
These are the same four land surveying companies the county employed to survey the four separate mitigation sites for the lake project.
According to Jordan, the surveying of the boundary of the lake consists of 28 miles of line to survey and the county has set a deadline of Aug. 15, 2012, for the work to be completed.
“We are looking at a minimum of 1,600 hours of work. That number may seem shocking, but we are looking at six field crews working 10 40-hour weeks to get it done by Aug. 15,” Jordan said.
The surveyors sought authorization not to exceed 2,400 hours, but after County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley questioned the upper limit, the surveyors agreed to accepting a contract not to exceed 1,600 hours. If additional work is necessary, the board would have to approve the request first.
“We would love to come back and bill you for 900 hours, but we don’t think we can do it for that,” Jordan said.
Under the proposal, the surveyors will mark the boundaries with T-posts and will also install permanent brass markers set in concrete.
Cauley recommended that Project Manager Charlie Johnson of the land planning firm of Wood & Partners communicate with Laura Benz of Wm. Thomas Craig’s office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the permanent markers.
“We need to make sure everyone is told what we are doing and how we are doing it,” Cauley said.
Based on 1,600 hours at $135 per hour, the projected cost for the surveying is $216,000. In addition, the county is to purchase 2,000 T-posts. Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye solicited bids on T-posts and Cash & Carry of Whigham submitted the low bid of $4.15 per T-post. Other bids received were $4.52 each from Cairo Build-N-Centre and $6.15 each from Stone’s.
Jordan said the T-posts would be spread apart a maximum of 300 feet, but the majority would be in the 50 to 60 feet apart.
The surveying of the upstream buffer will not be done now on the recommendation of the surveyors. “It can be done much cheaper after the timber has been harvested,” Jordan said.
Commissioner Al Ball asked if the Corps would approve the harvesting of the timber before the upstream boundaries are surveyed, and Moye indicated yes.
Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the proposal with the consortium of land surveyors and instructed Cauley to draft the agreement between the county and the surveyors. The board also unanimously approved the purchase of 2,000 T-posts from Cash & Carry.
In other lake related business Tuesday, the board approved the expenditure of $6,500 from Environmental Services, Inc., of St. Augustine, Fla., to conduct the cultural resource assessment on the four mitigation tracts outlined in the Federal 404 permit issued to the county authorizing the construction of Tired Creek Lake.
Met behind closed doors with Athens attorney Ed Tolley and County Attorney Cauley to discuss the appeal filed by American Rivers and the Georgia River Network to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The appeal is challenging the ruling in the U.S. District Court in Savannah that upheld the county’s permit to construct the lake. Leon County, Fla., commissioners voted not to participate in the appeal, citing the expense to do so and the likelihood the appeals court will uphold the lower court’s finding.

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