January 17, 2007
ISSUES STAY an ISSUE THROUGHOUT AREA
is proceeding with their plans to run more lines down Ernest
Gibson and Easy Ridge Roads off Jackson Lake Road. Citizens
have been complaining about their roads being torn up and
impassable because of the work. As JCWSA tries to develop
Jasper County into being more like Newton County, we will
see water lines run so developers
make money by selling their lots with the promise of “water
is coming.” TWG has already been told this
is happening down Cook Rd. where JCWSA’s Executive Director
has a family member as well as a business associate with
lots to sell.
The push to
find wells—which were heartily dismissed as a “joke” during
the Bear Creek Reservoir Committee meeting meetings by those
wanting the Reservoir—down Highway 11 South near Feldspar
should also raise your eyebrows about just who might benefit
from a water line in that area.
over $5 million of lines and picking up less than 300 customers,
JCWSA is still unable to pay principle on it’s note with
USDA. They have borrowed money from the Bank of Monticello
and have negotiated with the Butts County Water Authority
for a loan. Now the good citizens of Jasper County lucky
enough to be within 1000 feet of a JCWSA water hydrant will
cough up $50 each to help JCWSA stay solvent and run more
water lines. Just keep your eyes open as to where
they are run and who owns the property along the route.
The following is from Oconee County where there’s been talk
about another reservoir to
serve the growth brought by constant rezonings.
Oconee and Walton have talked Hard Labor Creek Reservoir
until it became known that that Reservoir would produce
about the same amount of water Jasper was promised for our
own Bear Creek Reservoir (26mgd) and cost close to $500
Million –yes, not $50 million like we were
told, but $500 million. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out
who the consultant is if you attended the “hearing” on Bear
Creek Reservoir in December, 2003 or kept up with what was
taking place at that time.
Oconee Citizens Urged to Attend Water Public Hearing on
Jan. 17, 2007
Citizens for Oconee's Future,
P. O. Box 1301
Watkinsville, GA 30677
January 12, 2007
County - "Public Information
meeting" in Commission meeting room - Court House at
7:00 PM Jan. 17th
By Charles Baugh,
President, COF, Inc.
The County has announced a "Public
Information meeting" to be held in the Commission meeting
room in the Court House at 7:00 PM Jan. 17th.
The advertised purpose is to provide the public
with information about options for future water sources.
Several months ago the county announced it was
withdrawing from an ongoing effort with Walton County to
build a reservoir and treatment facilities in Walton county.
That after the estimated cost to the county had taken a
huge jump and because of some apparent ethical questions
related to activities of some members of the water authority
that was handling the project. Since then Walton
has done away with the water authority and
has taken on the project directly which has apparently eliminated
the ethical questions..
At the time Oconee announced its withdrawal
from the Walton deal, the county also announced it was pursuing
building a reservoir on Barnett Shoals Road which would
meet county needs without having to deal with Walton. Recently
the consultant handling the work for the county told the
Board the costs would be closer to $ 108,000,000
than to the $ 58,000,000 estimate of a few months ago.
Now the County is about to go back to the deal with Walton
County, apparently on the recommendation of the same
consultant that missed the Barnett Shoals estimate about
While the County has advertised this
meeting as a "public information meeting" it is
also running a small legal ad in the Oconee Enterprise.
This appears to be a way to have a "stealth public
hearing". The legal notice will probably meet some
state requirement to advertise and hold a public hearing.
This leads me to believe a decision has already been made
to commit the county to hundreds of millions of dollars
in the Walton deal. The consultant has estimated the Oconee
cost in the Walton deal at about the same cost as the new
estimate for the Barnett Shoals reservoir. Based
on this consultant's track record this could be anything
above $108,000,000. Consider that, plus the cost of debt
service on bonds for 30 or more years and you have $ 100M,
$ 200M, $ 300M .... who knows?
The problem with the Board setting policy like this is the
county must take on huge debt which must be paid off over
a 10, 20, 30 year period. This would
be paid with water revenue or with county tax revenue. To
pay with water revenue the county must process and sell
a lot of water. To do that, a huge number of building permits
must be issued. This puts the county in a position of having
to promote more development to sell more water to pay off
the bonds. It never ends.
Many of you have been concerned about rezones near your
subdivisions and farms because of traffic, impact on schools
and other problems. Those issues do have an impact but policies
like the BOC is now considering have an impact many times
greater than one rezone. Imagine the impact when several
thousand more building permits are issued. I urge you to
learn as much about this issue as possible. Come to the
meeting and listen. If
this meeting goes as others I have seen, the consultant
will put up slides showing several options that were "considered"
and will come to the conclusion that the Walton deal is
the best. All of the other options except the Barnett Shoals
option have received little attention.
There are a host of questions that must be satisfactorily
answered starting with the question of why
do we need to spend all that money to access all that water
to urbanize the county? Just because other
communities (some of which some of you may have moved away
from) have chosen to make themselves ugly doesn't mean we
have to. I urge you to get informed on this issue and let
your Board members know what you think about it.
BACKGROUND ON WALTON & OCONEE WATER PLANS, SEE
the following at
.(Note- the Walton Project started as a project
involving Tommy Craig, Attorney from Covington who has been
a “hired gun” for a number of reservoir projects in GA.
See some related articles.)
Walton Hard Labor Creek Reservoir still "Iffy”
Walton County looking at “reduced” version of Reservoir
Questions About the Walton Hard Labor Creek Project Part
Questions About Walton Hard Labor Creek Water Project -Part
Questions About the Walton Hard Labor Creek Project Part
- STATE BUYING DAHLONEGA-LUMPKIN COUNTY RESERVOIR
Sam Hay - Gadfly & Newton County Attorney Tommy Craig
Jasper County Struggling With Water Issues-Newton Contract
Reservoirs, Consultants, Cost Overruns, Governors, and Attorney
Walton & Oconee Need to Talk With Dahlonega-Lumpkin
Water Authorities, Newton & Walton Counties & Attorney
Financial Strain for Lumpkin County Yahoola Creek Reservoir
City & County Agree on Dahlonega Yahoola (Tommy Craig
Permit) Reservoir Project
Town hall meetings across state to focus on water quality
Water Council is hosting a series of town hall meetings
this month to discuss water quality as part of
the statewide water plan. The state Environmental
Protection Division is working on the plan, which will be
presented to the council in July and then to the General
Assembly for final approval in 2008.
It is expected to be a policy framework to guide
future decisions on supplying water from rivers and underground
aquifers to growing communities. The council
is led by EPD Director Carol Couch and consists
mainly of state agency heads.
Every town hall
meeting will start open house-style when the public can
discuss the water plan with Water Council members and their
staffs. A presentation on the draft policy recommendation
on water quality will follow, and the meeting will conclude
with a public comment period. This
is your chance to have input about the cost of reservoirs,
the need for water and/or conservation of water, what will
happen to your creek or river, etc.
Jan. 20 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in Cumming at the Cumming/Forsyth
County Chamber of Commerce, 212 Kelly Mill Road.
Jan. 22 from
5:30 to 8 p.m. in Rome at The Forum, 2 Government Plaza.
Jan. 23 from
5:30 to 8 p.m. in Columbus in the Columbus State University’s
Bradley Turner Center Auditorium at the Corner of East Lindsey
and College drives.
Jan. 24 from
5:30 to 8 p.m. in Athens at the Georgia Center for Continuing
Education, Masters Hall, 1197 S. Lumpkin St.
Jan. 25 from
5:30 to 8 p.m. in Brunswick at the Stellar Conference Center,
144 Venture Drive.
For more information,
go to www.gawaterplanning.org
or contact Sue Grunwald at 404-656-0719.
** 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
laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.