One step closer

Published 12:38 am Sunday, September 2, 2007

NATCHEZ — A study of St. Catherine Creek’s recreation possibilities is close to completion, bringing the city one step closer to having a series of small lakes in its backyard.

The Mississippi Development Authority-funded study examines the feasibility of damming sections of St. Catherine Creek to create five small lakes.

Since the study shows it can be done, the next step is to ask the U.S. legislature for funding, City Engineer David Gardner said.

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“The hydraulic study and model should be finished by the end of September,” Gardner said. “We’ll meet with the (project) committee, and by November, we hope to have a presentation to take to Washington (D.C.).”

If the St. Catherine Creek committee is successful in getting funding, the next step will be to complete a more in-depth study of the project and get public opinion.

After that, plans would have to be laid out and contractors hired.

“Once you get to the construction part, it’s relatively easy,” Gardner said. “It’s always the planning that’s the hard part.”

The planned series of five lakes, each roughly a mile long, would run from Highland Boulevard north to D’Evereux Drive.

The lakes would provide recreation opportunities such as fishing and canoeing, Gardner said.

If the lakes do come into being, they won’t flood out any homes or buildings, Gardner said.

“This has been studied to avoid properties,” he said.

Resident shouldn’t expect to see lakes cropping up any time soon, he said.

“Just because we’re finishing the study doesn’t mean we’re getting ready to build the lakes,” Gardner said. “If it’s funded, it could take as long as five years or more to do. It’s a process.”