New contractor chosen for Springlakes project

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Columbia County commissioners approved a bid Tuesday for a Martinez drainage project from which they fired the original contractor last year.

Evans-based Blair Construction Inc. won the nearly $327,000 bid to finish the stormwater project on Sandalwood Drive in the Springlakes neighborhood.

The project to finish widening the culverts and parts of Reed Creek that feed the subdivision’s 20-acre lake should conclude in 60 days, Bill Clayton, the county Water Utility director, said before the meeting.

Initially, Jeffery Harris Trucking Co. won the project after giving the lowest bid of $814,000. However, Clayton issued the company a notice of termination just days before a November deadline.

About half the work had been done, Clayton said at the time.

Clayton initially asked commissioners to not award the project to Harris, saying the company received bad recommendations. But the commission was unwilling to subvert the bidding process.

Officials received more bad news in February concerning this project when they tried to collect money paid to Harris from Pennsylvania-based First Sealord Surety.

The bonding company filed bankruptcy that month and was taken over by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for liquidation. Clayton said it might take until October for officials to learn whether the county will receive any compensation on that project.

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dstewartsr 04/17/12 - 10:07 pm
" of Reed Creek that

" of Reed Creek that feed the SUBDIVISION'S 20-acre lake... (emphasis mine)"

The truth for the first time. Paschal couldn't have had input on this one, or that would have never hit print! We have numerous areas in Columbia County desperately needing flood control, and once again the overlords find money for Springlake's private pond. I know some (filtered word) will tell me it's public property, but it's totally surrounded by private homes and clubhouse grounds. This on top of $1,000,000.00 worth of dredging to keep it pretty.

ReleehwEoj 04/18/12 - 06:09 am
dstewartsr, are you sure

dstewartsr, are you sure about the dredging? I know that dredging has been happening on the county's dime in Westlake's Bowen pond. Didn't know it was scheduled for Springlakes...hmmmm...the residents of Woodbridge would be very interested in the details on this.

Austin Rhodes
Austin Rhodes 04/18/12 - 07:24 am
Some seem to forget that

Some seem to forget that these projects are being done to correct the damage that improperly managed growth has done to the neighborhoods in question.

The poor folks who were flooded out in 1990 on Chelsea Dr. in West Augusta were hit hard because of woefully inadequate drainage consideration when the Walmart gigaplex was put up at the end of the Bobby Jones Expressway.

If the county fails to properly police development and mandate proper drainage systems, they have to pay to fix the issues when their poor planning begins showing up in the form of floods on private property.

Turtle 04/18/12 - 01:41 pm
dstewartsr: The lake is

dstewartsr: The lake is private and owned by the subdivision. The county does NOT pay for periodic dredging of the lake, the homeowners association foots the bill. Because of the additional sludge, etc. that will now flow into the lake, the Springlakes Board of Directors has ask the county to help pay the additional dredging costs. The county has refused. Also, it doesn't cost anywhere near $1 million to dredge the lake. The Springlakes Board opposed the project and fought hard to stop it. It has destroyed a beautiful part of the neighborhood and will cause problems in the lake. Parts of several backyards were taken. Austin is right, these projects are needed because of past poor planning. Do it right the first time and the taxpayers won't be footing the bill later.
But please, make an attempt to get the facts right before throwing what you assume to be the truth out there. I bet you'd be more careful if you put your name on your comments.

madgerman 04/18/12 - 06:19 pm
Wow. A subdivision with a

Wow. A subdivision with a board of directors. Now the real question. If the lake is surrounded by private property and the county is hiring a dredging company to periodically scrape the lake, who is the lucky property owner whose property gets torn up by heavy equipment needed to dredge the lake. A lot of communities require a drainage plot before houses can be built. That is an inexpensive addition to a lot survey, but it sure prevents sunken yards and flooded houses when it rains. Now I wonder why the county hasn't required developers to do these plots??HMHMHMHM

Barry Paschal 04/18/12 - 08:08 pm
Mr. Stewart: Would you mind

Mr. Stewart: Would you mind clarifying that comment about me? Considering the same story is published right now on The News-Times' site, I'm not sure what claim you're trying to make.

I've consistently opposed the Bowen Pond dredging, by the way. Were you aware of that?

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