Augusta Commission will decide next week on how to move forward with lock and dam

Augusta Commission will decide next week on how to move forward with lock and dam
Savannah River lock and dam (Jasmine Anderson)

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Next week, Richmond County commissioners will decide how they want to move forward with giving a private firm more money to exam the Savannah River lock and dam.

It’s part of the city’s fight with the Army Corp of Engineers, which wants to replace the lock and dam with a rock weir.

The county utilities department wants to approve $75,000 to pay McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group for additional services. It was passed to full Commission without a recommendation, meaning commission will vote for or against it next week.

District 7 Commissioner Sean Frantom says he didn’t feel it needed to move forward yet, because it wasn’t discussed with the surrounding counties last week. “My concern is the fact that, as a region, we didn’t discuss it within the region because North Augusta might say ‘let’s do this’. Aiken County might say ‘let’s do this'. This issue is the biggest issue we’re gonna face in a very long time in this community and we all need to be working as one."

Frantom says the focus is not necessarily creating a whitewater center, but making sure the Savannah River’s levels are where they need to be. Commissioner Frantom says after next Wednesday’s meeting the public will have 30 days to weigh in on the issue.

A final draft will be sent to the Corps’ regional office in Atlanta and a final decision is expected by August.

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