November 18, 2012
NEWTON COUNTY TO DISCUSS BEAR CREEK
RESERVOIR AT BOC MEETING MONDAY, 11/19/12
The Covington News, 11/17/12
The long-planned Bear Creek Reservoir is once again
taking center stage
these days as the project moves closer to reality.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners is hosting
a work session at 6 p.m.
Monday at the Historic Courthouse to discuss recent developments for
project, including whether to accept a very low-interest, $21 million
County Attorney Tommy Craig has said the project is
incredibly close to
getting the environmental permits necessary to begin construction on
1,242-acre Bear Creek Reservoir, which had its initial
application in 1999.
"The project, from start to finish through all its
phases, would be $62
million, but we
anticipate the cost to be more than the $21 million to build the dam
reservoir, and we wouldn't
spend any more money until there was demand and we had exhausted all
available supplies at Cornish Creek (Lake Varner)," Craig said
"The project would be built in response to demand and the water rates
county charges would be sufficient to pay the debt."
Craig said the water pump and water treatment plan
wouldn't be needed until
later, as natural water flow into the reservoir could even supply some
However, historically, a large number of reservoir
projects have gone over
budget, in some cases, way over budget. The pumping stations and piping
infrastructure are often were the cost overruns are seen.
Another concern is whether this
project will be needed for decades, as the population projections used
project was devised during the housing boom are completely different
growth patterns seen in the post-housing collapse market.
However, construction costs are low right now as
the economy remains
The pros and cons will have to be weighed by the
board as they decide
whether to move forward with any steps at this time.
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