Archive for the ‘Water & Coastal’ Category

Mountain Park Residents Lash Out At City Council

Following a stinging defeat in Mountain Park’s five-year litigation over its lake, residents lashed out at the City Council and begged for an end to the litigation and staggering attorney’s fees.

“For five years we’ve chased a dream, maybe a pipe dream, maybe a Clean Water Act dream,” said George Menden, a lawyer. “We should not continue this folly.”

Mountain Park Technically Wins, But Still Loses

After nearly five years and $2 million spent in legal fees, a jury awarded the tiny north Fulton County town only $45,000 in its battle against upstream developers over silt in its lake.  Mountain Park had sought upwards of $3.8 million in damages, but the jury heard evidence that silt had long been a decades-long problem complained about by the City.  The jury refused to award one cent towards attorney’s fees.

Mayor Jim Still had this to say on the city’s website:

The jury in the Lakes litigation trial found two out of four defendants guilty of Clean Water Act violations but did not determine to award the amount the City of Mountain Park was requesting. $45,000.00 was the amount of damages awarded the city. The Judge will, in the coming weeks, also be considering what additional remedies and penalties to award against the Defendants found to have violated the Clean Water Act. The City Council will be considering this outcome and a town hall meeting will be held to review the verdict.

Atlanta, Top Green City?

Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled his ambitious plan for Atlanta to become one of the top 10 green cities in the nation.  Currently, Atlanta ranks 19th on SustainLane U.S. City Rankings.  Mayor Reed’s plan seeks to:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City 25% by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050

Reduce energy use for existing municipal operations 15% by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050

Make renewable energy 5% of total municipal use by 2015

Bring local food within 10 minutes of 75% percent of all residents by 2020

You can review the City’s complete Sustainability Plan Executive Summary here.

Sandy Springs To Sue Fulton County Over Cemetery Flooding

The Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved filing a lawsuit against Fulton County for its alleged failure to maintain two detention ponds at Arlington Memorial Park on Mount Vernon Highway.  The City blames the detention ponds for problems with Colewood Creek and flooding of residential properties in Colewood Court.

Mountain Park Legal Fees Top $2 Million In Fight With Developer

The City of Mountain Park has spent $2 million – more than four times its annual budget – in legal fees fighting upstream developers over silt and sediment in the city’s lakes and wetlands due to development in Roswell.  The north Fulton County city of just over 500 people has waged a federal lawsuit war against the developers since 2005.

The fight headed to trial last and is expected to last two weeks and undoubtedly cost the little city more money in legal fees.  The City has up on its website a summary of the first day of trial and directions to the courthouse.

Contractor Selected For Jekyll Island

Yesterday, Jekyll Island Authority awarded Kennesaw-based Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC the contract to build the 129,000-square-feet convention center along with the adjacent beach village’s public plaza, village green, parks and roads.

Brasfield & Gorrie secured the contract with a bid of $30.6 million, which was 16% less than the island’s governing authority budgeted for project completion.  Construction is scheduled to begin in October and wrap up by early 2012.

Judge Grants Governors’ Request to Keep Water Negotiations Secret

At the request of Georgia, Florida and Alabama, Federal District Court Judge Paul Magnuson entered an order to keep the tri-state water negotiations secret saying that “a settlement of such a complicated and inflammatory case such as this can occur only if some negotiations, whether among all parties or among only some of the parties, are conducted privately.”

Critics object to the secrecy.

“We actually keep asking ourselves ‘What is it that has got to be concealed here?'” said Sally Bethea, executive director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a Georgia water protection group.

“After 20 years, don’t we all basically know the facts? Is this confidentiality arrangement really something just to serve as cover for political leaders — the governors? Bottom line, we think secrecy is not in the best interest of all the people in the three states who rely on these river systems.”