Congressman Allen says new solution needed for Savannah

CSRA News

Like many, Congressman Rick Allen doesn’t like what he’s seeing on the Savannah.

“I’m concerned about erosion, silt, what happens if this thing fills up with silt, you can walk across the river,” said Congressman Rick Allen. 

Many river side residents can’t use a boat right now their docks are on the bank, some damaged after the corp of engineers lowered the river to simulate removing the lock and dam for a rock weir and fish ladder.

Steve Garrison lives at Goodale Landing. 

“Could you live with it at Goodale?”

“I don’t think so. Our property values will go down. We’re riverfront for a reason. I think all the neighborhoods that front the river would suffer,” said Garrison.

Congressman Allen doesn’t think that needs to be the case, saying he wants to change the law so the dam can be fixed up, instead of replacing it with the weir and fish ladder.

Corps officials say the law requires the most cost effective plan, they say fixing up the dam and building a fish ladder is twice as expensive

“I don’t trust the Corps numbers, they told me they only had $30 million to begin with. If they had fixed the dam and put the fish passage in two years ago, it would cost $50 million. Now we’re talking $63 million, so where are they getting their numbers.” said Congressman Allen. 

There are provisions for a local plan but the corp isn’t going to pay extra for that. 

“The corp said to me if it costs more, then we’re going to have to get another source of money. I said we’re working on that,” said Allen.

Congressman Allen supports Mayor Hardie  Davis’s comment earler this week that all options are on the table including filing lawsuits. 

Allen says though for the next thirty days local governments and concern citizens need to present their comments and  solutions to the corp of engineers during the comment period. 

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