Lumpkin County continues to pay for the stupidity of hiring an inexperienced out of county company to build the reservoir trail. In an effort to respond to recent EPD concerns about dirt from the trail going into the reservoir, Lumpkin County brought in large equipment that further widened the poorly constructed “trail” turning it into a full-fledged dirt road. Click on the pictures.
The Lumpkin County Trails Committee worked successfully for five years as a required public involvement for trails grants. A single experienced county resident contractor had worked with the committee to lay out a route for the trail with switchbacks that would make the trail accessible to almost anyone who could walk. Numerous volunteers who had training in trail construction had committed to help construct such a trail.
Public concerns were disregarded and public input eliminated when commissioners hired an independent contractor at a much greater cost to the county. You see, when the trail was built, Lumpkin County had more money than it had sense. The building boom was still going full force with property values and taxes still rising.
The hired contractor designed and constructed a trail straight down a steep hill toward and within a few feet of the reservoir. It’s no wonder the EPD finally questioned the wisdom of a silt fence to protect the reservoir from a mudslide down that hill.
Unfortunately, the county now seems to have made the situation worse by widening the trail into an un-surfaced road that will need constant attention. Rip rap added at the edge of the water may prevent erosion of the bank; but it doesn’t stand a prayer of stopping dirt that will be washed down the hill. See the pictures.
During trail construction, members of the public were concerned about dirt entering the reservoir. In response to those concerns, Lumpkin County Trails Committee members requested an opportunity to look at the work that was being done. Immediately following their visit to the site accompanied by the contractor and numerous county employees, the Trails Committee was abolished. Or to be more accurate, a determination was made that the committee never existed. County employee members of the trails committee are well aware that the grant for our reservoir trail would have been lost without the efforts of that committee.
In the current economy, the county can no longer afford to kick volunteers to the curb. This is our government. Public land belongs to all of us. If you are an elected official who does not value and respect volunteers, you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it is time for you to move on.
You created a disaster around our reservoir where we wanted a lovely winding trail that would be accessible to anyone who can walk. Your so-called improvements have made it wider and much more likely to erode. You have created pollution instead of protecting our water reservoir. Where is the EPD? Hopefully they will soon be all over you.