County awaits Safe Dams approval before paying off contractor

The general contractor on the Tired Creek Lake dam is seeking payment of the bulk of money still owed to the firm, but Grady County commissioners say they do not intend to pay off until the dam has been approved by Georgia Safe Dams Program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Grady County Commissioner Charles Norton voiced his opposition to paying the money retained by the county, in accordance with the construction contract, until Safe Dams approval has been received.
Brad Cole Construction, which was the general contractor on the dam, is seeking payment of $758,581.76.
Schnabel Engineering, the dam designers and project manager for the dam project, has approved payment of the retainage since the dam is substantially complete.
“I’m not comfortable signing off on this until we have full clearance on the dam,” Commissioner Norton said.
According to county officials, Georgia Safe Dams inspectors were here Jan. 21 and following their inspection provided Brad Cole Construction with a punch list of items that needed to be addressed. County officials say that Safe Dams inspectors will be here next week for a second inspection and it is anticipated they will sign off on the project at that time.
“I’m not questioning anyone. I just prefer to have a bird in hand not two in a bush,” Norton said.
Even after the $758,581.76 is paid, the county will still be retaining $129,390 for Brad Cole to cover grassing of the dam.
After discussing the matter, Commissioner Norton offered to approve payment of $758,581.76 upon receipt of approval from Safe Dams. Norton’s motion was approved unanimously, 4-0. Commissioner Ray Prince was absent Tuesday night.
The county will have to dip into proceeds from bonds issued earlier this year through the Grady County Lake Authority to cover the retainage payments.
In other related news Tuesday night, the county commission:
Heard a request from Commissioner T.D. David to allow engineering students with the University of Georgia to participate in the design process for water and sewer lines at Tired Creek Lake through the Archway Partnership. Commissioner David also requested that the board allow environmental design students at UGA to develop plans for a redesign of boat ramps on GA Hwy. 93 South, Dickey Ferry Road and Hadley Ferry Road. Commissioners were unanimous in allowing the partnership with Archway and UGA students to move forward on these two fronts.

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