Benz updates board in person Tuesday, county moves closer to impounding water

Attorney Laura Benz appeared before the Grady County Commission Tuesday to meet with county leaders both in public and behind closed doors.
Commissioners huddled with Benz and County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley behind closed doors this week to discuss threatened litigation regarding the Tired Creek Lake project. The county has put its consulting engineer Kent Campbell on notice that it would attempt to seek damages as a result of his deviation from the mitigation plan he developed and was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
No action was taken as a result of the closed session.
Benz publicly updated the board and the audience present at the commission meeting Tuesday morning on the status of the lake project.
She said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had issued a public notice to receive comment on a proposed permit modification made by the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust’s In-Lieu-Fee instrument as it relates to the compensatory mitigation for the Tired Creek Lake project.
According to Benz, the period for public comment expires on Jan. 21. She told commissioners and the public that the land trust’s permit modification must be approved before the county will be cleared to purchase the in-lieu-fee credits to satisfy mitigation requirements of the Corps in order to obtain authorization to impound water.
In addition to obtaining authorization to impound by Georgia Safe Dams, Benz noted that the modified operations plan had been approved by the Corps on Dec. 22 and the county had obtained the final cultural resources report that satisfies all of the cultural resource requirements regarding the lake project.
Benz also touched on issues where there continues to be “misunderstanding” regarding Georgia-Alabama Land Trust’s connection with the Tired Creek project.
According to Benz, the public notice issues by the Corps for public comment on the land trust’s request for a permit modification “clearly states the advanced credits are for the Tired Creek project.”

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