Grady and Leon counties working to mend fences, discuss opportunities
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Grady County officials continue to make progress in developing a working relationship with Leon County, Fla. and relieving tension over the Tired Creek Lake project.
During a meeting of the Grady County Lake Authority last Wednesday, June 5, Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, reported on a June 3 meeting he had held with Leon County Administrator Vincent Long and Leon County attorneys concerning a proposed memorandum of understanding between the two county commissions.
According to Johnson, the Leon County Commission is scheduled to take action at its June 18 meeting and the Grady County Commission will vote on it possibly at a special called meeting or at the July 2 meeting.
“We have an excellent rapport with Leon County, now,” Johnson said.
“We have Will Butler to thank for that, correct?” Grady County Commissioner Phillip Drew asked to which Johnson responded “absolutely.”
Authority Chairman Steven Childs and members Eric Cohen and Bob Ponder were absent from last Wednesday’s meeting. Authority members present, in addition to Vice Chairman Chip Wells, were Laura Register, Ray Prince, and Stephen Frances. Also attending the meeting last week were Grady County commissioners June Knight and Phillip Drew.
In other business last week, the authority:
• Discussed a recent burglary of the daily pass honor box at Tired Creek Lake. The honor box has been burglarized in the past, but county officials say the boxes have been “beefed up.” The most recent theft occurred some time during the Memorial Day weekend. Lake Director Mike Binion admitted he had been out of town and he had not emptied the box as frequently as normal.
• Discussed the leak in the main gate of the dam. Binion noted that approximately 400,000 to 500,000 gallons is being lost through the leaking gate, but noted that the federal 404 permit requires approximately 350,000 gallons to be released to maintain flow downstream. Officials had been given an estimate of $100,000 to repair the leaking seal, but have not seen the need to spend the money. Authority Vice Chairman Chip Wells requested Binion bring back a report on the situation and a recommendation at what time, if ever, the leak should be repaired. Binion said he would contact Chuck Wilson of Schnabel Engineering, who was one of the engineers on the dam project, and would report back at the next meeting.
• Following a brief closed door session, the authority voted to recommend Binion remain as the authority’s lake director for 2020. That recommendation will now go before the county commission.