Oddo, Fleisch praise Lake Peachtree compromise


The intergovernmental water franchise agreement between Fayette County and Peachtree City over issues pertaining to Lake Peachtree has been approved. Fayette County Commission Chairman Charles Oddo and Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch in a letter to the editor offered their take on the successful franchise agreement.

Peachtree City adopted the agreement by unanimous vote on Nov. 5. Oddo and Fleisch after the 4-1 commission vote on Nov. 12 forwarded a letter to the editor, calling the intergovernmental agreement a “significant achievement in intergovernmental cooperation.”

Out of a total of 10 votes cast by the two boards, only Commissioner Steve Brown was opposed.

Summarizing what was avoided with the agreement, Oddo and Fleisch said, “The important thing to take away is that we were able to keep this issue out of the courts through the efforts of our staffs, consultants, attorneys and fellow board members. For that, we would like to thank all of those who were involved. What we have accomplished by working together, sets a new tone and bodes well for the future of our community of Fayette.”

Citing the visible work dealing with dredging that has been ongoing since the early spring, Fleisch and Oddo maintained that much work pertaining to the lake’s future had been occurring behind the scenes.

“What has been less visible, but far more important, is the hard work between the elected officials, staffs, consultants, and legal teams, on the agreement that binds Peachtree City and Fayette County over this very visible project,” the letter said.

Oddo and Fleisch addressed a number of the ongoing issues and responsibilities pertaining to Lake Peachtree and Lake Kedron that existed between the city and county which stemmed from the original agreements between the two parties nearly a half-century ago.

One of those issues became prominent in 2014 when cracks were found in the spillway.

Fleisch and Oddo said in 2014 there existed “the real possibility of another expensive round of litigation – only to decide who would pay for the current repairs to the spillway and for the imminent construction of a new dam and spillway to much stricter state standards. Until this month, both Peachtree City and Fayette County were bound, through 2035, by seven ambiguous agreements that did not really answer those now-vital questions.”

Fleisch and Oddo said it was a testament to the community that, instead of filing legal claims and motions, and counter claims and motions, Peachtree City and Fayette County have been able to negotiate in good faith and produce a new, single agreement that benefits both parties as we move forward.

Outlining the agreement 20-year agreement, Oddo and Fleisch said Fayette County and Peachtree City will share in the costs of the dam and spillway replacement, and will share in the cost of future dredging after a detailed survey of the lake bottom is conducted to set a measurable baseline.

The letter said Peachtree City will become responsible for the lake bed, dam, and spillway.

“And we have saved Peachtree City taxpayers and water system rate-payers from paying for both sides of a lengthy litigation process to determine who would have to pay, for what, and how much,” Oddo and Fleisch said.

The agreement is available at http://www.peachtree-city.org/index.aspx?nid=1065.