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Plan to dredge creek alive
Commissioners seek more details
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Forsyth County News
Forsyth County has agreed to go along with a private contractor’s efforts to dredge part of Big Creek.

The county commission on Tuesday directed County Attorney Ken Jarrard and Doug Derrer, county manager, to work with Larry Suddeth of Jasper Pipeline and Grading on the project, which could alleviate flooding.

Suddeth is interested in dredging a part of the creek east of Hwy. 9 along the Big Creek Greenway.

Suddeth, who attended the meeting, said pipes used for removing the sand could go above or below the trail. He said the pipes don’t leak and would go undetected if they were under the greenway’s bridges.

He said the project, which could take about six months, would make less noise than a lawnmower.

“What could help the county ... is probably a few years from now y’all will probably wind up having to pay somebody to pump it where we’re going to be pumping it for free,” Suddeth said.

“We can benefit the park down there by furnishing them sand. I think it’s a good deal, but it’s up to y’all.”

Jarrard told commissioners that it appears Jasper Grading has satisfied all of the state’s regulatory requirements and that the county would need to work out a lease with the company.

He said the lease would mark the boundaries of the company’s activities.

“There are a series of restrictive covenants that affect property either adjacent to or very nearing the area where the proposed dredging would occur or where machinery involving the proposed dredging would occur,” Jarrard said.

He said it seems the covenants would be affected by the sand removal, but it is not clear to what extent.

“We have not at this point gotten with Jasper Grading and let them show us perhaps on maps where they would need to locate equipment, where pipes and hosing would need to be located, just very pragmatic concerns of how the actual event would be undertaken,” Jarrard said.

He added that he thinks, because of the covenants, the county and possibly Suddeth should go over the plan with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Suddeth said the state Environmental Protection Division monitors dredging projects.

Suddeth said it would take about a week to set the project up, once he gets the green light, and it would be best to dredge the creek before summer because of dry weather.

“July and August is when you really get to hurtin,’” Suddeth said. “You don’t have enough water to operate.”