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9-12-09 Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Update Land Acquisition, Water Flow, Atlanta Source?

The proposed reservoir will have 47 miles of shore line. While the site is in a rural area, the tax map of the site shows many residential lots already marked out, especially southwest and northerly of the reservoir.

AVOC

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September 10, 2009

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Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Status Update

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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On September 9, some interested Oconee County Citizens and I visited Walton County for two purposes:

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1. To tour the Walton County Courthouse that was moved from downtown Monroe a few years ago;

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2. Look at maps and visit the area of the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir project and actually view the water flow in Hard Labor Creek at the proposed Dam Site.

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We toured the Walton Courthouse which is large with a lot of growing room.   Most of our group felt it was way too big for Oconee County’s needs.  (Going through security just to buy a tag etc is a hassle).   AVOC will deal more with the courthouse issue in later articles.   The County seems to be moving along on a new building and has about $ 4 Million already accumulated toward the project BEFORE the study….

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HARD LABOR CREEK RESERVOIR PROJECT

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We talked to some knowledgeable sources and learned much from the visit.About 2,200 acres are needed for the reservoir site, 1300 + or – for the pool and 150 feet of buffer around the high water mark.   About 42 % of the land area has been acquired.   Five hundred acres of that 900 + or - , was purchased many months ago from an entity involving Hennessey Cadillac at $ 9,000.00 per acre.There is some information that at least some of the land has been purchased at $ 17,000.00 an acre.  

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The site is located in a rural area.   That area of Walton County has much more active farms than does Oconee County.   There are four major property owners who have not been approached.   Sources say they are not happy about the reservoir and have the resources to resist condemnation.  The land involved is considered more desirable and expensive than much that has been acquired.   Much is left to be done to acquire the land needed.   Eventually, a road will be relocated and two bridges are planned.

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RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT MAPPED ALREADY

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The proposed reservoir will have 47 miles of shore line.   While the site is in a rural area, the tax map of the site shows many residential lots already marked out, especially southwest and northerly of the reservoir.   SEE: Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Site Map.   A number of informed folks believe that development plans drove this project.   Informed sources and published reports indicate that some former county and authority officials are investors in land in the area.

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Hard Labor Creek water level at Browning Shoals Rd Bridge looking south 9-9-09

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LOW WATER FLOW IN HARD LABOR CREEK

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Visiting the site graphically raises questions about pumping raw water from the Apalachee River at High Shoals for 18 miles (8’ diameter pipe) to the reservoir site.   Treated water will then be pumped at least 18 miles back to Oconee County.    Observation of the water flow in Hard Labor Creek at the site indicates pumping from the Apalachee will be necessary.   An informed source says the inflow from Hard Labor Creek will only provide enough water for the evaporation and absorption loss of the reservoir.   These facts lend credence to the belief that housing development is the main motivation for this project.

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Hard Labor Creek water level at Browning Shoals Rd Looking South 9-9-09

See flowing thread of stream on right

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No Grading or construction work has started.   There is an impression in Walton County that Walton will not need the water for 10-14 years.   Oconee joined the project because it needed water soon.    The project does not seem to be that far along to provide water in the near future.   One person of senior status commented he felt the project will not come to pass.

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Sources also say the authority only has funds enough for land acquisition and will have to draw more on the bonds to do construction of the Dam which is to be earthen and estimated to cost $ 27 Million.

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Hard Labor Creek at Browning Shoals Rd –Top. Approx Location Dam site 9-9-09

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Looking at the flow of the Hard Labor Creek and the Apalachee makes one skeptical about the current claim of 60 million gallons per day capacity.It also casts much doubt on the idea about this being any sort of water supply for Atlanta!

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Apalachee River in Oconee County is not a large stream

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Apalachee River at Price Mill Road Bridge 9-22-07

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Hard Labor Creek water level at Browning Shoals Rd Looking South 9-9-09

See flowing thread of stream on right

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Hard Labor Creek water level at Browning Shoals Rd near and below Dam site 9-9-09

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Hard Labor Creek water level at Browning Shoals Rd Bridge –north side near Dam Site 9-9-09


Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Site Map

http://hardlaborcreek.com/images/stories/maps/HardLaborCreekRegionalReservoir.pdf

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Hard Labor Creek Status Report – April 2009

http://hardlaborcreek.com/images/stories/HLC_Update_Pres_April_09.pdf

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Hard Labor Creek Website

http://hardlaborcreek.com/index.php

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Water Dispute may speed up reservoir project   Walton Tribune 8-23-09

http://waltontribune.com/story.lasso?ewcd=7cc67521ba7d7c08

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Newly proposed 1400 acre reservoir for future growth needs / Hard Labor Creek Reservoir/ Walton County

http://highlandcreek-homes.com/images/commercial_emal_package_0609.pdf

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MANAGEMENT PLAN JULY 2008 Metropolitan North Georgia ... Potential reservoir projects

http://www.northgeorgiawater.com/files/WaterSupply_Sec_8_PlannedFacilities_July2008_DRAFT.pdf

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State funds run dry for water projects AJC 8-23-08

http://www.ajc.com/hotjobs/content/metro/stories/2008/08/23/water.html?cxntlid=inform_artr

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Precision Planning Inc is managing the planning & engineering for Hard Labor Creek Reservoir

http://www.precisionplanning.com/about_walton.htm

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Study of Georgia Reservoir Projects MACTEC

Tanner & Associates, Tommy Craig & Associates, Schnabel & Assocs. 10-31-08

http://www.scribd.com/doc/7824116/110808-Reservoir-Study

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Apalachee River at High Shoals

http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/apalacheeriv4.htm

http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/apalacheeriv2.htm


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