Mayor Pro-Tem wants to wait on Lock and Dam study

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – It’s the future the Savannah River keeper wants to see at lock and dam. Create a white water course using the broken locks. it’s something a commission committee agreed to spend $10 thousand last week to study.

“By adapting the locks into a white water center, canoers, kayakers, rafters can use it not just a couple of boats a year,” said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.

Back in June, Commissioners also voted to endorse having the corps refurbish the old dam, but the Riverkeeper says saving the old dam is no longer in the Army Corps funding plans.

“They can no longer fix that dam structure, it’s not happening, at least not on the federal dime,” said Bonitatibus.

But since last week’s vote, city leaders are hearing from many in the area who still believe refurbishing the dam is an option.

“After that meeting, I’ve had a lot of discussion about it and there’s still an effort to try and get some language changed in that bill to help restore the lock and dam,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.

Mayor Pro-Tem Davis says commissioners need to wait before moving forward on hiring consultants to do the white water study.

“I don’t think we’re in favor of moving forward right now until there’s a definite ruling on the lock and dam,” said the Mayor Pro-Tem.

But the Riverkeeper says a final decision is coming and it won’t be to replace the dam and the city needs to be ready with plans to save the locks for canoers and kayakers.

“By October of this year, if not sooner, the Corps of Engineers is going to come out with their recommendation if we have not gotten our plans in place we’re going to miss the boat,” says Bonitatibus.

We’ll see how far the Riverkeepers request to not delay hiring the consultant for the study goes, because Mayor Pro-Tem Davis says she will move to have the item deleted from Tuesday’s meeting agenda

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