Monroe: Reservoir Project Will Not Get $10M from State

2 09 2008



WALTON COUNTY — The Hard Labor Creek Reservoir project got some hard news earlier this month as county officials discovered that the state can’t afford the $10 million promised earlier this year as part of a $40 million statewide cache to help with the drought.

Walton County was one of the 13 cities and counties that had their funding slashed.

Officials with Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office said cuts are having to be made across the state in various areas and the water-based allocations were just one of the many designated funds cut.

State leaders approved more than $21 billion in state spending in April but are now looking to slash at least $1.6 billion as the state battles a revenue shortfall.

Walton was one of the hardest hit. Officials hoped the $10 million would help lower the reservoir’s project price tag of more than $350 million.

“The initial revenue bonds for the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Project were issued prior to the announcement of the State’s Water Supply Grant Program, so these grant funds were not included in the original projections,” said Jimmy Parker, vice president of Precision Planning, Inc., the engineers of the reservoir project. “However, the (Walton County Water and Sewerage Authority) and the Reservoir Management Board were very optimistic towards receiving a very significant grant allocation, based on recent meetings with (Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority) representatives. Any grant funds received would have reduced the overall project costs for both Walton and Oconee County, therefore the State’s decision to suspend the program was disappointing.”

However, Parker remains optimistic that some sort of funding will come the project’s way.

Read on here.




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