solict bids for
stream bank credits
The chairman of the Grady County Lake Authority has asked for clarification of the authority’s role regarding management of Tired Creek Lake and its construction.
Travis Bryant went before the Grady County Commission Tuesday night, to provide an update on the lake. Bryant said he also wanted to “make sure I’m on clear ground and know what the commission expects of the authority.”
When Kevin Cauley, attorney for both the Grady County Commission and the Grady County Lake Authority, asked commissioners whether they were still committed to seeking the authority’s recommendations before taking action at the lake, commissioners voiced their agreement. “Of course, they’re subject to your rule of funding,” Cauley said.
Chairman Bryant said, “We’re set up to recommend what we think is the best strategy. Part of that is hearing from the community and understanding the needs of the community. I think we have a pretty diverse and representative group on the authority that can do that, but we need to be able to go through that process and not have it taken away from us.”
Once the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the county’s mitigation plan would require additional money, the lake authority halted further amenity design plans, Bryant said. “And at that point, rather than make a recommendation that the county proceed in one direction or another, build this ramp not build this ramp change this design, what have you, we essentially set the thing on the shelf and decided it was in the best interest of the county to wait this out until we know what the funding parameters are,” Bryant said.
The chairman pointed out that until the authority meeting on Sept. 3, he was unaware that $3.5 million of the $10 million bond issued in January for lake related expenditures had been taken from the lake budget and used by the county to repay previous expenses. He inferred that such action should have come before the authority so all bodies are working with the same information.
Grady County Commissioner Charles Norton said it was his understanding that the bond issue included paying for road paving projects and reimbursing the county for money spent from its reserves on the lake project.
Bryant said the bond did include money to pave roads around the lake and other improvements, “. . .it’s my view that it’s the authority’s purpose to help direct the county with respect to making decisions around that lake.”
No commissioner voiced an opinion to the contrary.
Lake Authority Vice Chairman Lee Gainous also attended Tuesday night’s meeting.
In related lake news:
‰Grady County Commissioners agreed to hire a specialized environmental services company that was the low bidder to create a stabilization plan for the areas of Tired Creek Lake that are already on site. The board also agreed to seek proposals for purchasing specific In-Lieu-Fee or “stream bank” credits. Both actions move the county closer to fulfilling its mitigation obligation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The board approved the hiring of Resource and Land Consultants to come up with the stabilization plan. The company, RLC, was one of two to submit a bid and was the lowest. Commissioners agreed to cap their expenditure with the company at $11,000.
Cauley said the county needs 107,385.65 stream bank credits to go towards mitigation requirements. “We were able to receive quite a bit of credit on the sites that we’ve been communicating with the Corps about with the deficiencies that were raised with the correspondence back in December,” Cauley said.
With the commissioners’ approval, Cauley and consulting attorney Laura Benz will move forward with seeking proposals for the credits.
“The corps committed to us that once they accept this (stabilization) plan and once we have fulfilled the purchase of the needed credits that we should be in position to begin filling (the lake),” Cauley said Tuesday night.
‰The commission agreed to continue to pay $130 per month for a trailer used as office space at Tired Creek Lake for lake manager Mike Binion.
‰Approved payment of a invoice from Ms. Benz in the amount of $2,907.50 for legal services related to the lake project.