I attended a public hearing regarding Lake Alice Dam, which was breached last May, resulting in silt and debris being deposited in Lake Lanier, and damaging Sanders Road. Currently, silt continues to flow from the site, and the road remains closed.
My primary concern is when and how the sediment dumped into Lake Lanier — rendering boat docks unusable and the water quality questionable for swimming — would be removed.
Danny Bennett, representing the owners of Lake Alice, assured me that every bit of sediment deposited into Lake Lanier from the breach of the dam at Lake Alice would be removed. He repeated this assertion three times, and explained that a qualified engineer could visually determine which sediments were deposited as a result of the dam breach, and distinguish them from any others.
Within moments, after a representative with the Army Corp of Engineers explained that the Corp requirement was that an equivalent volume of sediment be removed, Mr. Bennett changed his assertion from every bit of sediment deposited into Lake Lanier from the breach of the dam at Lake Alice would be removed to we will remove the same volume of sediment.
I am left with the uncomfortable dilemma that perhaps Mr. Bennett was unaware of the Corp requirement, or mistaken, and neither explanation is particularly comforting, given that the owners of Lake Alice are engaging his services to correct problems caused by the dam breach. Neither ignorance nor ineptitude are qualities that engender confidence when I consider that my loved ones may be living adjacent to, and perhaps driving over, his proposed solution.
Sanders Road remains closed, so driving in that area may not be a possibility. Lake Alice, the dam, and the adjacent property is owned by a combination of the city of Cumming and private owners. Is it not the responsibility of owners to maintain their property so that it does not cause harm to the property of others? Why then, is the city of Cumming asking Forsyth County taxpayers to contribute to the repair of Sanders Road?