Local leaders don’t want to see Seagraves Lake in the western part of Madison County drained. And the county agency in charge of water services has approved an agreement that they expect will keep that lake in existence and open the door for its possible use as a county water source.
The Madison County Industrial Authority has negotiated a “memorandum of understanding” with Ann Seagraves, the lake’s owner. The authority approved that agreement Monday night with some minor changes.
The action was deemed necessary after the state government informed the Seagraves family that they must repair the faulty dam or drain the lake.
The IDA, which handles county water services, agreed to work to save the 50-acre lake, recognizing that it is a county landmark that could also serve as a water source for the Madison County in the future.
As part of the understanding, Seagraves agreed to donate the dam, its embankment and spillway so that the authority may qualify for federal funding to bring the dam into compliance with the Safe Dams Act. The authority plans to “raise the level of the dam and install a new spillway and stand pipe.”
The authority may qualify for $1 million in federal aid, if it also matches 35 percent of the federal funds.
Under the agreement, the property donated by Seagraves to the IDA will revert back to Seagraves if “no funding is awarded or no work is done by the authority within two years of the recording of the warranty deed.”
The authority did not approve a clause in the agreement that “the authority will maintain the water level of the lake at not less than five feet below normal pool.” IDA executive director Marvin White said the authority can’t really take on responsibility for the lake’s water level.
“We don’t have any control over drought conditions,” he noted.
The IDA agreed to allow Seagraves and her successors to retain all fishing rights to the lake, including the ability to receive compensation for others’ fishing privileges. However, they agreed that no gas-powered boats should be allowed on the water, since the lake could be used as a drinking water source.
In other business Monday, the industrial authority briefly discussed plans to construct a sewer system in the Hull area in 2009, which will help boost commercial growth in the southern end of the county. White said the IDA is nearing the end of the permitting process for the system.
“We’re closer than we’ve ever been,” White told the IDA. He noted that the Environmental Protection Division still wants a water runoff assessment for the sewage plant, such as how much water will run off the parking lot at that plant.
“It the (storm water runoff) assessment has nothing to do with sewage,” said White.
The IDA executive director said it may take some time to conclude that assessment and the industrial authority will ask the EPD for allowance to proceed with the sewer project before the storm water study is completed.