September 2, 2007
CREEK RESERVOIR ON THE RADAR AGAIN
article in the Covington News revealed that not only was
Newton County expanding Cornish Creek Reservoir but they
also plan to start the permitting process again for Bear
Creek Reservoir (BCR).
From the Covington News story dated 7.27.07:
Resources Department will oversee the expansion of the
Cornish Creek plant from 15 million gallons a day to
25 million gallons a day. Kelley said he expected the
expansion to be completed in 18 months to two years.
90 percent of the necessary right of way has been acquired
for the creation of the Bear Creek Reservoir - a project
long in the making for the county - Kelley said the
county is currently re-applying for its 404 permit from
the Environmental Protection Agency which is required
before any other further steps can be taken in the project.
Acquiring the permit could take anywhere from 18 months
to four years.
soon as that permit is obtained, it is our goal to begin
work on that dam." Kelley said.
costs for the project will be determined by the conditions
of the permit said Kelley.
The “new” state
water plan offers many alternatives over building new reservoirs.
to review what is being recommended to the State Legislature
for a final vote in the 2008 session.
With BCR the
real question is "Where will the water come
from to fill it?" Bear Creek is a little
more than a trickle at the present time. Newton County,
Porterdale, and the City of Covington all get water from
the Alcovy River. It’s doubtful there’s enough flow left
to issue another water withdraw permit, even though some
“water consultants” seem to have a great deal of influence.
Asking for the 404 Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers
is an end run around the EPD that issues the water withdrawal
After starting the reservoir with a 404 Permit, the ruse
is that EPD “must” issue a withdrawal permit.
it a need for water, or is it the fact that Newton County
will have to return the land to those people they took it
from? Sources tell TWG the deal was if there
was no reservoir in 20 years, the people could buy their
land back at the same price Newton County paid for it. The
20th year is fast approaching.
It appears as
if water lines and reservoirs have an awful lot to do with
land and its development. At a recent BOC meeting private
landowners in Jasper County questioned the “well fields”
that JCWSA want protected. These well fields are on private
property. By “protecting” them, the private property owner
may not be able to do what they had plans to do in the future
on their own land. No one’s
private property should be subject to the whims of a few
unelected authority members, or to a few elected commissioners
for that matter. If you don’t care now, you will when your
property is affected.
TWG will watch
the progress of the BCR permit process. A reservoir in the
proposed area of BCR would pose a threat to those living
on Jackson Lake. The flow of water into the lake, the amount
of water in the lake, and other problems will affect people
of Jasper County if Bear Creek Reservoir becomes a reality.
The other concern is what role Jasper County might be asked
to and be willing to play.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
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discussed and enacted.
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and lower property taxes.