Commission switches course when it comes to lock and dam

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) The fisherman were enjoying lock and dam today but what some in Augusta are angling for is the creation of a white water park here.

The Army Corr of Engineers is proposing, replacing lock and dam with a rock weir, and a commission committee has given the okay to spend 10 thousand dollars on consultants to develop a white water plan for the site.

City officials say the corp of Engineers is still looking at options for the future of the dam and say if the structure is removed it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

“It’s looking at options for frankly something that could be a tremendous asset 10 thousand dollar investment is not a whole lot the commission wants to proceed with that,” said City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson

But that wasn’t the case back in June When the commission voted unanimously to endorse having Lock and Dam refurbished.

Supporters of that plan say commissioners appear to be changing course in mid river.

“I but never in my wildest moment would I have ever thought they would come up the thought of hiring a consultant to work on something they have gone on record disapproving,” said Roy Simkins of the group Save the Middle Savannah River.

So commissioners are in public conflict voting to keep and fix the dam, and also wanting to study the creating of a white water course in its place.

“The white water course rafting would be good if the corp is going to work with us and do that now I don’t want to get ahead of them and spend money on a consultant and we not do it after all,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The committee’ vote is just a recommendation the full commission will take up the issue next Tuesday Commissioner Wayne Guilfolye is chairman of the committee that recommended hiring the consultants for the white water study, but in June he made the motion to endorse keeping and fixing the lock and dam, he says tonight he’s going to try and table the issue next week.

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