Officials Gather Funds to Save Long Creek Reservoir

Officials say they now believe they have more options in saving the Long Creek Reservoir. During Tuesday's Council meeting the council was told by public works that the dam's problems could not be solved without lowering the reservoir as a concern for public safety.

"I have not personally seen anything that says we can do that," Council Vice President George Thomas says. "I specifically asked at the last Council meeting could that be done, and have been told no, it could not be done, so that's news to me."

But the council president met with supervisor Kyle Rutledge, the mayor, the Dept. of Environmental Quality and Public Works. Council President Dustin Markham says that was a productive meeting that shed some light on how they could best save Long Creek.

"Where there was only initially one option, there is now an option to breach the dam at about 19 feet from the top, and then allow the dam to fill to that breach point, which would then keep a sizeable lake out there," Markham explains.

But the main issue right now is trying to find the funds necessary to fix this dam. Councilman Markham says they're reaching out on a state and federal level to try to find what they need to make that happen.

He sat down with senator Thad Cochran and supervisor Kyle Rutledge to discuss federal grant funding options. The low estimates of just how much this will cost range from $440,000 dollars to $1 million.

"Everyone understands that that entity brings a lot of enjoyment for not only city residents, but county residents, and a lot of individuals from other parts of the state and other states," Markham says.

Officials say they will continue to push forward in trying to find the best solutions.