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Decision on spillway fix expected Tuesday

The big question about the refilling of Lake Peachtree is: can it be done sooner or later?

An answer is expected Tuesday afternoon when Fayette County water officials will meet with representatives of the state’s Safe Dams program. The lake, which was drained in February to allow for dock and shoreline maintenance, cannot be refilled due to structural problems discovered at the lake’s spillway during that time frame.

The county, using advice from geotechnical consultants, has recommended a temporary fix that would allow the lake level to be raised for the summer. That comes along with the concept of approving a more permanent fix and/or replacement of the spillway in the near future, county officials have said.

Safe Dams has to sign off on the plan, however, and could overrule the temporary fix in favor of a permanent repair or replacement for the spillway. In that case, the timeline would most assuredly be extended for a number of months to accomplish the necessary engineering, bid process and other regulatory hurdles the county might face.

While the lake is owned by the city, the county is responsible for a significant amount of maintenance because the lake is used as a drinking water reservoir.

One of the concerns is whether the lake can be refilled by the time the city’s International Festival and Dragon Boat Races are held Sept. 27. Lake McIntosh is not big enough to host the event, officials have said.

The lake’s low to non-existent water level in some spots has left some residents concerned, particularly those who live directly adjacent to or near the lake, who have become accustomed to the lake’s scenic view at full pool.

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