Environmental study OK’d for lake dredging

The ball is rolling toward the eventual dredging of Lake Peachtree to remove sediment that has collected at the bottom of the lake.

The dredging of the city-owned lake is the responsibility of the county water system, which uses the lake as a drinking water reservoir.

Last week the Fayette County Commission approved paying for an environmental study of the project so it could be submitted for approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The county needs the Corps to sign off on a dredging permit for the project.

The environmental analysis will cost up to $23,627, but that pales in comparison to the anticipated cost of the entire project, which will be upwards of $1 million, said Water System Director Tony Parrott.

The water system has most of the money for the dredging set aside in a sinking fund, but some money will have to be shifted from other funds to complete the dredging, Parrott said.

Commissioner Steve Brown cast the only vote against the motion to award the environmental contract, saying it had not been bid to see if the cost is competitive with what other companies would provide.

The contract was awarded to Kennedy Engineering and Associates Group, which was contacted by the county’s consulting engineering firm, Mallett Consulting.

The environmental analysis may include a study of a protected mussel found along Flat Creek and two tributaries entering the lake, county officials said.