Augusta has made its case to the Corp of Engineers keep the dam to keep the upstream pool.
“Now comes the hard work, it’s getting a design that meets Augusta’s needs. I think it’s going to be a negotiation and I think we’re going to need the help,” says Utilities Department Director Tom Wiedmeier.
The city has hired two engineering firms at a cost of $30 thousand dollars to assist in making the city’s case to the Corp of Engineers, those dollars are gone, so now the Utilities Department needs more money for the Lock and Dam fight.
“Well I’ve asked for another $100 thousand dollars some of that is to pay for work that’s already done, the rest is to have a budget to continue the discussions,” says Wiedmeier.
The draw down convince city leaders of the need to save the dam, but some commissioners are not pleased with having to draw down more money.
“So I’m disappointed in that I’m not sure how we’re going to handle it, with the fact that this is a big issue, but at the same respect this is taxpayers money that we didn’t even know about we we’re going to spend,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.
“The question that’s really concerning to me is if there are overages, as we’ve been told they are from our comment period, why wasn’t the commission told about it,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
“This is probably the most important issue we faced in a long time. Whatever it takes to get this done, I think we have to do it. I don’t think we have a choice we couldn’t stop now,” says Wiedmeier.
“I just with we would have known going into it what the costs would be, I’m sure we’re going to probably have to pay them. We’re just going to have to find that revenue source,” says Wiedmier.
North Augusta kicked in $15-thousand dollars for the consultants.
Wiedmeier says he has not asked north augusta for more.
The money so far has come from the Utilities Department’s budget, but Wiedmeier say there are discussions about using General Fund dollars in the future.