Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016    Login | Register        

Lake Peachtree will rise again

There has been a lot written about Lake Peachtree and it has begun to resemble a made for television drama with lots of speculation floating in the air.

I think it is obvious by now that some patience will be required on everyone’s part as all of the parties — county, city and state — work their way through the process.

From the local government perspective, we are all rolling with the punches at this point. Initially, the county government, through the county’s water system, was all geared-up to dredge Lake Peachtree with water in the lake, referred to as wet dredging.

The water level had been lowered at the request of the homeowners on the western side of the lake so that they could perform repair work to their docks and sea walls.

Problems were detected with the lake’s spillway that required immediate attention. At that point, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Environmental Protection Division became involved and we began what has been a lengthy process to remedy that situation. You may recall that Peachtree City and Fayette County recently received a letter from the state saying the dam/spillway has been classified as a “Category I” structure, meaning more planning, more expense and more structure required.

There is an appeals process where the Category I status can be challenged. Since Peachtree City owns Lake Peachtree and the dam/spillway, they would have to issue the call for the appeal. In turn, the county has committed to assist the city with that appeal should the mayor and council choose to go that route. Representatives from the city and county will be meeting soon.

In the meantime, the state has made it clear that we cannot fill the lake until the dam/spillway issue is resolved. Upon learning the new edict from the state, the county then began moving to gain the necessary plans and permits to dredge the lake without the presence of water, referred to as dry dredging.

As soon as we gain clearance from the state, the county will begin the process of performing a dry dredging, but we have to follow the required steps to get there.

Please know that the dam/spillway challenge is not a quick fix and will involve a considerable amount of time to engineer and construct if the structure remains a Category I.

Keep in mind that in all instances, the lake falls under the state’s regulatory framework and those procedures must be followed without exception. Following those procedures takes time.

To quell the rumors, I can assure you the city has no plans to do anything with that site other than repair the infrastructure, refill the lake and give the citizens back a beautiful amenity built to state regulations, safer than before. The county government is working alongside the city government to move the project to fruition.

Up to this point, I have seen no reason for anxiety. Government infrastructure projects like roads, new buildings and lakes take time to complete. Yes, the dam/spillway problem was unexpected, but there is nothing with that situation that cannot be resolved as long as we follow the state’s procedures and regulations.

The county has had a history of providing drinking water to local citizens from the city-owned lake for over 40 years. That collaborative effort has endured through written agreement, including a multitude of elected officials over that span.

The new Lake McIntosh, county-owned, is taking over from Lake Peachtree, becoming the primary water source because of its much larger capacity. All citizens of Fayette County have a great deal to be proud of when it comes to how we manage our water resources and plan for the future.

Sufficient water capacity for the future is often overlooked, but it is an essential component for maintaining our quality of life and attracting new economic opportunities to Fayette County.

Do the reconstruction of the dam/spillway the right way and for the next 40 to 50 years, our citizens will have nothing to worry about.

Do not hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns. I hope everyone is having a great summer with their families.

Steve Brown
Peachtree City, Ga.

[Brown is the chairman of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.]



Cyclist's picture

Is there an estimate on what the county is going to spend to renew the lake?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

1. There was no reference in your letter concerning who is responsible for paying for the dam repairs. Can you fill us in on this please?

2. One of the former PTC council members is stating publicly in his blog that they knew about the dam issues when they were in office and they are questioning why this never reached any budget. Is this fellow's blog dated 6/29 stating "We knew about the dam issues when I was on council." true or false?

from the agreement between the County and PTC that is posted on the City website, it appears (actually it looks cut and dried to me) that the Spillway is the responsibility of the County...of which 35% or so is PTC we are all on the hook for sure.

is that Mr. Brown claimed ownership of the county paying for the dredging but made no reference to the dam/spillway. I read the agreements and it would seem like the county would have to pay but...

Could this be why the city has lawyered up?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Why did they do this you ask? CYA for the inevitable finger-pointing which will be coming soon - right after the powers that be conclude we will need a $5 or $10million dam. Someone is bound to ask the question "So, who was supposed to be inspecting this dam for the last 20 years?" Since the first obvious answer is going to be the Fayette County Water Dept. and we delve into the director, his inspection schedule and reports (Ha, ha!) and his oversight, the uncomfortable feeling at the county will start. Best defense will be an offense along the lines of "You own the lake and the dam, Peachtree City, so you should be inspecting your own possessions - not us, the county - we just dredge once in a while"

Then the city will pull out the agreement and have to push back- hence the need for a lawyer. I think everyone involved knows the price tag will be huge and somebody will be looking for a scapegoat and avoiding that is job#1 for anybody who has been on city council or county commission during the past 20 years.

Live free or die!

The costs to repair / replace are not a foregone conclusion despite what people blog.

I didn't expect Mr. Brown to open up the county checkbook. But he as well as everyone knows the Water Dept's past has not been up to snuff.

In the end I think the county is going to bring up the idea of a splost.

mudcat's picture

in the last 20 years. That would be Steve Brown. You could expand that a bit to include Steve Rapson who was elected to city council and appointed to county manager, but that's about it. Should be interesting if Brown finds himself on both sides of a dispute. But he could handle that better than almost anyone - even Obama who still thinks he is a Washington outsider campaigning against the government abuses in the IRS, VA and Border Patrol.

mudcat's picture

$7million dam/spillway repair (an estimate) is going to be debated in court.

The guy on Spyglass who thinks he has a $524,000 lakefront home on almost an acre - going to take $50,000 hit (an estimate).

The guy who is estimating Lake Peachtree will be filled by 2016 is just estimating.

I want to estimate the Senate will be taken over by Republicans this fall and the guy with no chin will replace the undertaker from Nevada. My estimate is wishful thinking.

Cyclist's picture

<strong>...replace the undertaker from Nevada.</strong>

Dadgumit warn us next time before you post something that funny!!!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Cyclist's picture

Do you not have any answers to the numerous questions??

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

The mayor has effectively cut off all public communication by our elected on all of this by getting the attorney in the middle of it all. Might as well blow smoke into the wind on this one....

I'm thinking of going into the fracking about you?

If you need some advice on fracking as used in the Bakken Field,let me know. My Soncurrently designs power sub-stations for installation in the Bakken and visits there every 3 weeks or so!

Frackin' in the Bakken, eh? I was reading the what if's on this Putin plunder that is going on and the tit for tat chess game he and Barry are playing. One of the outcomes could be Putin shutting down energy supplies to eastern Europe as retaliation. To Ukraine, also. Then, I read about the fracking going on in N.D., and a few other areas of the U.S. and I think I heard John McCain say there is a plan for us to supply parts of Europe, if necessary. He mentioned N.D. and Okla. and one other state as sources of supply.

This sounds like the wild, wild west out there. Your son must be right in the thick of things, supplying the infrastructure that is badly lacking in these booming areas. A lot of money being made out of all of this. I just like saying the word fracking. If I were younger, I'd be out there lining my pockets, too. I hope he is raking in the cash like others must be doing on all of this.

He works for HDR Engineering (over 7,000 employees),HQ in Omaha but he works out of Billings,Montana. He is a PE (Civil/Structural).

comment above to you and Cy. The world will be a better place due to the likes of your son and others. Me, I better forget the fracking and stick to my little world here. I've never been to Montana. My sister-in-law is from a small town between Butte and Bozeman, but she hasn't lived there for years after she joined the Navy. Her mom and sister still live there. I've never been out there.

Cyclist's picture

Fracking; eh? Good luck!!! For me, I'll stay at my current gig. When I do retire it will be under a program called "DOK" - Dead on Keyboard.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

hutch866's picture

I checked the freezon in that unit too. It's all ok.

I yam what I yam

Cyclist's picture

You are the best!!!!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Speaking of dead on...(gross alert coming up)...I need to remind myself to not go out to Sharpsburg/Turin area ever again. Tonight, just before dark, on the side of the road, one of those dead armadillos was belly up. A big one. Those are bad enough as road kill, but someone had taken 2 store bought shiny colorful helium filled happy birthday balloons with colored ribbon and tied them to his legs, which were sticking straight up in the air. Right on the edge of the road out there. I swear on my Perdue for Senate robocall guy who called tonight and said Perdue is a Christian and needs to be voted into office that I am not making this up. Who are these people out there? I'm with you. I need to stick with my keyboard and let others frack us to kingdom come.

Cyclist's picture

it's what's for dinner:

Anyways, I had seen a rare sight on my way to work one morning.... a live possum.

Oh, about those balloons; it's called tagging your kill.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

You learned all that in SoCal! LOL

Cyclist's picture

It's been 27 years since I lived in SoCal.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

PTC Observer's picture

I always get a bit uneasy when a public official says "we have nothing to worry about".

Recently the state of Georgia has become involved in refilling the lake, we have more regulation, more money required, and more delays. I think that's what you're saying. You could have said that in one sentence. The only things we don't know is how much and how long?

Is this the same state government that caused a DOT delay of nearly 3 year in finishing the bridge across the CSX track on 54? Well, if it's the same state government I would say we have a lot to worry about.

Let's just turn it into a nice wooded park with a creek, or is there some other state or federal agency that would get involved in doing that too?

Cyclist's picture

come in Steve Brown. Dammit, all I get is static on the speaker! I guess I'll raise the antenna again tonight.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

you don't appear to know much of anything about this. Nice about looking into these few questions for me. Thanks in advance. You were quick to come on here and chat when you were up for election.

Has the County been inspecting the spillway with any regularity?

Has the County had any recommended upkeep that they have done, or failed to do?

mayor decide? Fight the Category 1 or go forward?

Did she have the meeting yesterday or was she too busy picking out her crown and color coordinated ensemble for her victory lap down the Parkway tomorrow in her convertible Porsche?

Come on now, mayor. Time is money, you wasted all last week while Pennington was playing in Savannah. Let's get this dam thing moving. Or is this just too much for your rookie attorney to handle so far?

Press release...please do another one. We are in press release withdrawal. We all know you do not speak to the citizens here in any other way, shape or form. God forbid.

I saw it at Bulldog yesterday...

disappointed. We both guessed wrong. Look for the brand spankin' new white Lexus convertible. Look for her second attorney to be the driver or he might choose to run alongside, fending off any dam questions. Golf cart will carry her make up and hairspray.

In today's weekend edition of another paper, the mayor and Learnard snap back at the former council members claim that they knew about the dam problems before March of this year. The mayor questioned his leadership, that if he knew about this, why didn't he say or do anything while in office. Bottom line is either he provides the documents supporting his claim.

We're starting to see why the city is lawyering up. The issue seems to be the understanding of maintenance. Mr. Brown provided an analogy comparing the dam to renting a house. He states that a renter is responsible for lawn care and general upkeep, but the landlord is responsible for a water heater replacement. Since PTC owns the lake, he is infurring that the city may be responsible for the cost of the dam repair.

The county is claiming that dry dredging costs up to $200k more, but if the soil is not contaminated, they could sell the sediment. Don't understand why they haven't sent someone around to take samples a few months ago. Dry dredging we were told earlier would allow the testing agency to confirm depths easier. It will be real interesting to see how deep and how far the sediment has spread across the lake.

As you grow older in the next few mayoral years, you will find the big haired mayor has major issues with...well, certain things. Many already know this. As I have been asking since the second lawyer was hired, why hasn't she explained this move. Do not make assumptions on this.

Forget the dredging. County has already stated they are going to do it. I betcha it will be done better and with longer term results than ever before. The lake will actually become a lake, unlike what it is now. The dredge will take time. There is no greater and more pressing need than for this council to work WITH the BOC on the dam/spillway resolution.

Wonder how the former PW director is doing in Alabama. My guess, loving his life there.

Is good.

Unfortunately, we are getting neither from the city or county. I don't like the games. Lawyer up, tell us why. Mr. Brown playing analogy games isn't transparency. It's beating around the bush. The former council members claim needs to be substantiated with documentation by him. Otherwise, it's just a sore loser taking cheap shots. Both the mayor and former council member were complete fakes during the parade. Sad.

I'm ok with the dredging. It's just too many new things that hit the fan. Wish someone had a simple checklist and not some make it up as you go appearance.

Are you referring to comments about tenant/landlord? Well, those came right from the lawyered up mayor's mouth. Way before Chairman Brown said it. Did you miss them?

If you want a checklist, Steve Rapson provided a very thorough one. It's on the city web page. Meetings have taken place, a timeline is in place and professionals have been hired. If there is foot dragging or political moves being made, it is not coming from the water system or county.

Look a little closer to home here, daddy-o. As your passenger rear view mirror says, "things are not as they appear". Or something like that. And we are stuck with the bill. Why is that?

I didn't hear this used earlier by anyone else.

If the analogy is accurate, and PTC is responsible for the major maintenance, then why not just say that the agreement wasn't ironclad and we (PTC) have an issue we need to work out with the county? Paying for lawyers is simply wasteful spending. No one could blame this council since they had nothing to do with the agreement. The only thing they would be responsible for was to make sure the city followed the agreement to the "T".

It doesn't take a clairvoyant rocket scientist to claim that infrastructure needs remedial work. Anyone can make this claim and be right. I'd love to see the documents that prove the severe dam issue was known and discussed or not discussed in the yearly budget sessions .

a position this coming week that will, hopefully, work toward a thorough, long-lasting solution, nothing else. It would take leadership to do that, of which we have yet to see. Lawyering up, spitting out demands through cheesy, transparent press releases, deleting comments from fb pages seem to impress some in this city. She is listening to some really bad advice, too. We will know soon enough.

Who the heck is she listening to? Why is council going along?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think the chairman's analogy is well thought out and appropriate to the position that the county will take. I don't like it, but it is not really my decision.

Continuing with the analogy, the lawyers now need to argue over what the rental agreement actually says. Since it is unlikely that the water heater/spillway is mentioned specifically, they can broker an agreement or fight like children in the press and later the courts. I think at this point either is possible. Thank God Haddix is gone. Can you imagine how this would be handled by him?

Live free or die!


Why not everyone (city and county) put on their big boy pants and just discuss the facts instead of playing this out by the angles.

Mr. Brown might be 100% correct, but it played out all wrong starting with the county and city manager who should deal with the facts and then let the politicians do their jobs and resolve.

Rapson needs to start his county vehicle, grab 2 joes at Starbucks, and stop by city hall for a meeting with Pennington. Both need to show us why they are worth their salaries, just like most private employees have to prove themselves every day. Brown and Fleisch and both council and commission are foolish and acting like prima donnas allowing this to play out like it has.

I can't remember running into such negativity as that spewed by MLC. It's just one insult after another, blog after blog. How can anyone be so mean and nasty? Get a real life will ya. At least this is the way your blogs come across to everyone. Got it? Really think about this.

Also, maybe try not to disparage someone by the way they look. You're probably no gem yourself. Give the negativity a rest for a while. Maybe say something nice for a change. Make meaningful suggestions after getting the facts from city hall instead of just assuming something. It's fine to point out a problem, but include your solution next time. Not some flippant remark.

Read what I just told Borntorun.

I guess I can assume I'll be attacked now that the obvious has been said.

Waiting for it. Then guess what? I'll have proved my point.

Your wait is over. Ready?

Go suck a lemon. Or two. I read what I choose to read, got that? I suggest you do something else other than come on here critiquing the world according to you. You bore me. There, a flippant remark for you.

The 3 of us stooges have spoken. What does that make you, speaking back to 3 stooges?

There, there now, feel better now that I (note I, not you) "have proven" your point?

I think Lake Peachtree is a problem created by the counties lack of control of their water system.

Hey Peachtree City, stand up and fix the problem during the next election! Get rid of Steve Brown!

Hey Steve, take your buddy, Rapson with you when you leave.

Thanks from Fayette County Residents who cant vote against him due to redistricting.

Speaking of Lake McIntosh, when is it going to be stocked with fish ?

I don't know if it was stocked, but the fishing is pretty good already. I suggest you get out there while the lake is still relatively unknown in metro ATL. Watch out for bad golfers if you're fishing the eastern shore.

NUK_1's picture

It's very good and was before they flooded it too to create the lake. A lot of spotted bass, not big or anything, but still good action. I don't know if they stocked it since the lake was later flooded or not.

PTC Observer's picture

Since your letter, anything to report on the cost and when the lake will be refilled?

I know we have nothing to worry about because you said so. I plan to send out a little reminder each 45 to 60 days for a report so all can see how we're moving along.

Better to get the updates from you than from "television drama".

I drive by the lake everyday and it's not's downright UGLY. Too bad politics got in the way of repairing and refilling the lake.

I'm still interested to know who is going to pay for the repairs (whichever way the dam is finally classified). I would think the city and county could have worked it out by now.

The city is already earmaking an extra $100K for misc lake items this year.

And honestly, it has been interesting seeing how nature has adapted. Sort of like those TV shows that I have seen where the people are all of a sudden gone. Things go back to their natural way.

That said, I too would like to hear some news on any progress being made. I think the appeal of the DAM Classification is now on the docket. I have heard dredging will begin the first part of 15.

The folks I feel the most for are the people with lake rights for power boats that lost a full summer, hopefully they only lose one.

I'm sure their housing values are higher than most because they have lake rights. Since they will lose 1+ years of usage, I wonder if they don't deserve some type of tax break.

Not that this would offset the value of the enjoyment they missed this year with their family and friends.

Ad space area 4 internal