Some turbulence over Lock and Dam Consultants


it’s seen as one of the most important issues for the city leaders saving Lock and Dam, and keeping the up stream pool, and now city leaders are looking at two engineering firms to make the case  to the Corp of Engineers. 

 “I believe in order for us to go in and actually have a valid argument against what the corps wants to do we’re going to need as many people in our court as possible,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett. 

 “To have  the expertise of two groups working on it trying to get the technical comments down all hands on deck to get what we can done,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom. 

 “To that end  I don’t see a problem with having a problem with having people engaged in the discussion,” says Mayor Hardie Davis. 

One of the firms  the McLaughlin  group was hired last summer by the city to study river recreation including creating a white water center   t Lock and Dam.

But city leaders say the main objective is not a white water course. 

 “What I’m interested in as the mayor of the city that we preserve our pool,” says Mayor Hardie Davis 

 Is this the best way to preserve the pool bring in two consultants?

 “I don’t know,” said Mayor Davis.

 “If whitewater can be worked into it that’s great but right now the focus is preserving the pool for Augusta,” says Commissioner Garrett.

 “And that’s number one?” 

“Absolutely,” said Garrett. 

On Tuesday, consultant Richard McLaughlin was flown to town, he met with some city leaders about the future of Lock and Dam but Mayor Davis did not decide to meet with him.

The mayor saying it was not a missed opportunity. 

“Absolutely not I think my position is still the same  I don’t need to talk to McLaughlin or anyone else about building a white water park.” said Mayor Davis. 

 Commissioners say the contracts will state that both firms will work  solely   on behalf of the city’s preferred option to keep lock and dam in place and put in a fish ladder, both firms will share a  30 thousand dollar budget. 

The corps has extended the comment period to april 16th so if the firms -are- approved next Tuesday they’ll have exactly six weeks to make the case.

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