August 30, 2008

Bear Creek Reservoir is needed and on the move according to Newton Chair Aaron Varner


During the recent Primary and Run-off Elections, we heard such comments as, "Bear Creek Reservoir is not going to happen.  It is only a scare tactic."  Some candidates indicated they would not sign a pledge to keep Jasper County money out of the Bear Creek Reservoir project, while others were willing to sign the pledge. 


There have been several articles in the Covington News about Bear Creek Reservoir over the past weeks.  One was an editorial written by the Covington News staff saying Bear Creek Reservoir was essential for Newton County's future.  A letter to the editor questioned that stance and asked how the reservoir could be supported without knowing any cost figures.  In response, Aaron Varner put in a half page editorial about water in Newton County and specifically about Bear Creek Reservoir.  He ended with, "The Bear Creek Reservoir needs federal approval. It is neither easy nor cheap, but we are confident that the project as planned and sited is best for Newton County and that it will be ready long before it is needed."

Read entire article here: http://www.covnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=22&SubSectionID=220&ArticleID=3272&TM=56822.29

The one thing Mr. Varner doesn't mention is that Lake Varner and Cornish Creek supply 25mgd--almost twice the current water usage of Newton County.

Bear Creek public remark period over--Army Corps of Engineers reviewing all comments
This is the title of a story in the August 22, 2008 issue of the Covington News.  The story starts:
       "Seven months after receiving the county's application to build the Bear Creek     Reservoir, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still considering the project's merits as it waits for further information from the county."
Read entire article here:

Also see:

BEAR CREEK RESERVOIR-A Political Plum ready for Picking


Other water information:

  • JCWSA is considering borrowing another $1 million and applying for grants of an additional $1 million to run more water lines to the proposed "Monticello Farms" off Palalto Rd. as well as lines down Barnes Mountain Rd. according to comments in the August JCWSA meeting.  Citizens should expect to pay more hydrant taxes if this proposal goes through.  JCWSA can not service its current debt without a special tax being levied on citizens near hydrants.
  • Thomas Brothers Hydro has been awarded a 404D permit by the US Army Corps of Engineers and can start building a raw water treatment plant.  This project has been fought by Newton County and the reservoir folks as being "unsuitable."  The only thing unsuitable is that this project is not a LAND DEAL, it's all about water.  There won't be any lake front lots to sell and certain folks won't be able to have their finger in the pie.  Henry County is already looking at the Thomas Brothers site for a drinking water source.
  • With the state of Georgia facing a sharp decline in revenue, Governor Sonny Perdue, in consultation with the leadership in the Georgia General Assembly, is "reallocating funding to safeguard essential government services and programs," says a state government news release.  Accordingly, in order to keep all options open as the state develops a funding plan for the budget shortfall, the Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) instructed the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) to suspend the Georgia Water Supply Competitive Grant Program funded through an Amended Fiscal Year 2008 appropriation of $40 million.



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