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Inspector: Do away with dam atRobins Lake Road

NATCHEZ — State dam inspectors recommend that Adams County officials do away with the Robins Lake Dam and consequentially the adjacent 50-acre lake.

However, the county may not have the means to deconstruct the dam and build a bridge in its place — which would cost more than $1 million, officials said during Monday’s regular meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

The county only has controlling rights over the surface of the road and levee that sit on top of a privately owned and constructed dam near Lower Woodville Road, officials said.

A rainstorm in early January caused part of the road to slough-off and exposed the culverts inside the dam. One side of the road remains open to residential traffic while the damaged part of the dam is barricaded.

During Monday’s meeting, Adams County Engineer Jim Marlow said the Dam Safety Division of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality stated the dam would have to be able to drain 7,000 cubic feet of water per second to prevent water from topping the levee.

The only way to achieve that requirement would be to remove the existing dam and build a new structure in its place, Marlow said, adding MDEQ suggested building a bridge in place of the dam or closing the road altogether.

“They noted that right now the road is still open and they mandated that it be closed,” Marlow said, “… but they haven’t enforced that yet.”

MDEQ’s instructions also ruled out rebuilding the road to the way it was before the storm as an option, Marlow said.

“Can we get that in writing — that we can’t do it that way?” said the Board Attorney, Scott Slover. “… If they are going to forbid us from fixing it to the way it has been for several years, it needs to be in writing. From a liability perspective, the best thing we can do is repair it back to the way it was.”

Officials also said they doubted residents around the lake would want the dam removed.

“I guarantee they don’t want that,” Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said of removing the dam. “The county could abandon it and make the landowners responsible for maintaining and repairing the levee, but I don’t know if that would be an option if it’s a danger to the area.”

Slover agreed and said abandoning the road would open the county to a greater liability to landowners.

“They would all have to sign off on abandoning it,” Slover said. “If even one person disagrees we can’t do it.”

The Board of Supervisors asked Slover to compose a letter from the board to MDEQ in regards to repairing the road and requesting written reply that details the state’s requirements.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, the board:

4Unanimously approved a $40,000 reduction in 2019 taxes for Magnolia Bluff’s Hotel based on the property’s real and appraised value.

4Unanimously approved a lease-purchase for a 2020 Chevrolet van for the Adams County Coroner for $21,275.

4Unanimously approved an overdue payment to the YMCA for management of the community pool for $26,345.