BOC eyes Hard Labor, Lake Oconee as county water source

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By Jamison Hooks

staff writer

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) are concerned with the county’s lack of a water supply and are exploring opportunities to secure a main source, such as the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir.

“Morgan County does not have a water supply at all. We need to make sure our citizens are protected,” said Commissioner Ellen Warren. “I think it’s critical that we address this issue before it becomes a crisis.”

Members of the BOC met with representatives from both Oconee and Walton Counties regarding the possibility of securing reserved capacity at the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir.

During this meeting members of the Morgan County BOC were advised that an existing water pipe already runs from near the reservoir down to our county line.

“Because we haven’t been so active in the water business, we didn’t know it was there,” said Warren.

County Manager Michael Lamar advised that they are now working closely with Precision Planning, an engineering and architectural design firm, in order to accurately estimate the potential water needs of the county.

BOC members also mentioned the need to research Lake Oconee as an additional water supply option.

When opened for public comment, John McMahon spoke in favor of utilizing Lake Oconee as a water resource.

“Water for the county is a great necessity and if the county doesn’t tap into the jewel out there in Lake Oconee, some of the surrounding cities and counties, like Atlanta, can run a line out here and make a draw from it,” said McMahon.

We need to take a hard look at utilizing a draw from Lake Oconee and as growth continues in this county water will become more and more important.”

In response, Commissioner Warren advised that at one point the county had a water department and authority.

“We might need to look at re-activating this water authority board,” said Warren.

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