Citizens getting impatient with dam project

Published 12:26 am Thursday, January 31, 2008

NATCHEZ — A dam repair project that was slated to begin in October has still not started — and residents in the area surrounding the dam are getting impatient.

The dam, on Robin’s Lake Road, is in need of repairs due to years of erosion.

Fran Brellenthin, who lives near the dam, said for several years she has heard about plans to repair the dam but has never seen any action.

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In mid-October the Adams County Board of Supervisors was waiting on a single land easement to be signed in order for construction on an access road to begin.

The access road was needed because the bridge that leads directly to the dam is not strong enough to support trucks carrying repair materials to the dam.

Once the adjunct road was completed, the dam work was supposed to begin almost immediately.

The easement needed by the county was eventually obtained and the access road was built.

But dam repairs never started.

Then in November, T&F Construction, the company that won the bid, said there would be yet another delay.

Curt Thomas, T&F co-owner, said when the county was attempting to get the lone easement, T&F’s work began to pile up.

In November, Thomas said when his calls to the county to find out when the easement would be granted went unanswered, his company had no choice but to start working on some other projects.

Thomas said work would not likely begin until the end of January.

But with only one day left in the month Brellenthin said she has seen no signs of progress at the dam.

“No work has been started,” she said. “The access road is in, where is the work?”

Luckily, Brellenthin said, the rains in the area have been modest and have not raised the level of the lake bordering the dam.

The siphon that was once clogged has been cleared and is keeping the lake at a good and safe level, Brellenthin said.

But even if the siphon never gets clogged again, the severe erosion that has residents concerned is still an issue.

“They just need to fix this thing,” she said.

But just when the dam will be fixed is anyone’s guess.

On Thursday Thomas could not be reached for comment.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s civil engineering technician Mike Greene said he has been in contact with T&F.

The NRCS is the body that awarded the actual contract.

“Right now it all depends on the weather,” Greene said.

Greene said T&F is currently working on a project in East Mississippi that is being hampered by adverse weather conditions.

“They need a full week of no rain to finish that job,” he said.

However, that full dry week may not come for three weeks, Greene said.

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Henry Watts said he plans to investigate the matter.