September 7, 2007
CREEK WELL FIELDS—WHAT IS THE STATUS?
JUST WHAT IS THE CEDAR CREEK PROJECT?
several meetings in the month of August, the “Cedar Creek
Well Fields Project” continues to pop up and the subject
has caused some controversy.
is the Cedar Creek Well Field Project? According
to Ken McMichael of the Jasper County WSA, it is a
geological anomaly. The following is Quoted
from the official August 6, 2007 BOC meeting Transcript—
McMichael: [speaking to the Commissioners]
change that needs to be made to the map. If you'll
notice -- and I've got a couple of maps here for y'all
if you'll pass them around -- at Highway
11 and Perimeter Road, just south of Perimeter Road
is what we call the Cedar
Creek well field. This was discovered
by Feldspar Corporation quite by accident. And to
give you a brief description of what this is, the
substructure in most of north Georgia is granite rock.
It's got very small fissures and to get a high quality,
high-yielding well is very difficult. If you get one,
it's strictly by accident. In south Georgia, they've
got limestone substructure. The fissures, cracks in
the rocks are much larger and much larger quantities
of water are available. But there has been
a geological anomaly discovered in this area. It's
at the head waters of Cedar Creek of limestone substructure,
and we think there is
a high volume of water to be harvested from this area.
This geological anomaly is roughly a half a mile wide
and three-and-a-half miles long. And
if you'll notice on your future land use map, on one
side of Highway 11, right on top of this valuable
resource, is designated for future industrial development,
and on the other side of the road is for high density
housing. And we
need to remove that from the land use map and return
it to agricultural district to protect this valuable
natural resource. And this resource needs to be identified
in our comprehensive land use plan and the map needs
to be changed to protect that valuable resource.
A couple of changes that I would like -- or additions
I would like to see added to the text part of the
-- of what Chris had for you is on the short-term
work program, the five-year plan, I would
like to see it added that the
City of Monticello and Jasper County Water and Sewer
Authority jointly plans to do a project in that well
field to supply water to the City of Monticello and
the Water Authority. And I'd
like to see that project added to the short-term work
The reason we
is highlighted is because it implies that JCWSA, the entire
board, is being represented by Mr. McMichael with these
At the Commissioner’s
Special Called Meeting on
August 21, 2007, Ken McMichael spoke again
(TWG has a tape of the entire meeting):
McMichael: Contrary to some people’s belief
all water belongs to the State; the State and Jasper
Co have right to protect resources. Carter & Sloope
has done a complete engineering report. Geologists
have been involved in this plan from the very beginning.
A&S [geologists]. The
City & the JCWSA have been having meetings to
discuss this project.
Patrick: Mr. McMichael says the City &
JCWSA have been having meetings. I would like to know
when, because by law they have to advertise them and
the meetings are open. When are the meetings held?
What’s been discussed and what are their plans?
Ken McMichael: If you want to get
request from JCWSA that’s no problem because we
voted unanimously at our last meeting that Cedar Creek
Well Project would be the #1 project from now on and
we are seeking federal funding for that project. This
is not a Water Authority issue. The Land Use Plan
is to identify and protect resources. The resource
has been identified by Carter & Sloope’s engineering
geologist has identified the recharge area
of that resource. It ought to be in the plan.
TWG has found
several conflicting statements and articles concerning these
remarks. Many of these conflicting statements were recorded
at a “Special Called Meeting” of the JCWSA on August
23, 2007 at 6:00PM. Supposedly there was a notice
posted 25 hours ahead of time. No reporter from the Monticello
News was present at this meeting. TWG does not know if the
news staff knew about the meeting.
“Special Called Meeting” of the JCWSA was recorded.
Five citizens did attend—those 5 all own property in the
“Cedar Creek” area that Mr. McMichael wanted on the map.
Some of the more interesting statements were as follows:
There is Conflicting evidence in your documents.
You must do away with doubt.
This is not credible; there are missing documents
in here. Intentional or accidental, I don’t know,
but Maps & figures not there. Why if this [geological
information] came out 3 days ago does it have copyright
Chair of JCWSA: This is good information. We didn’t
have it before. We went on information we had
at the time. (TWG: Yet they’ve had the
report done by the engineers for the City AND JCWSA
since 2005 and a geologist report since January 2007.)
Do your research like I did.
You’ll find it was taken out of context. (TWG:
JCWSA didn’t do its research for Bear Creek Reservoir
either. Citizens had to do that also.)
member: Isn’t all we’ve done is identify possible
sites & that’s still ongoing?
It’s not ongoing
at all. We’re not actively exploring any sites at
this time. Long Term solution has to be a reservoir.
City at this time is not active
with us. Asked city to accept that they would use
a considerable amount of water. City is not willing
to do that. (TWG: Yet Mr. McMichael told
the Commissioners that this was a joint project with
the City and should be put on the Short term work
program. He also said JCWSA voted to make it their
#1 project. Which is it?)
meeting continued after more discussion the
JCWSA Engineer, Frank Sherill said,
“At this point in time we don’t see this as a project.”
Citizen 2: That’s a contradictory statement. [Executive
Director’s] email said this was always a project.
There is no funding for it right now.
2: So the implication is if you get funding, you’ll
be pursuing it.
3: Where was notice posted for this meeting? How long
was it up?
Director: 25 hours
4: Is there some way we can be notified in some way
ifs this is going to be brought up
in the future?
1: We found out by hear-say (about this meeting).
I feel violated – looking at my property without my
Anytime the subject comes up I’ll be in touch with
This is all
double talk. Is the Cedar Creek Well Project in the works
or not? Have there been meetings between the Authority and
the City? If so, how many? Where and when were the meeting
notices posted? Where are the meeting minutes required by
Georgia’s Open Meetings and Records laws? Georgia’s Sunshine
Laws can be found at this link:
for anyone who
wishes to review them.
TWG hopes the
members of the JCWSA will take the time to review the requirements
of the Open Meetings and Open Records Laws in the very near
future and start abiding by them.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.