2013-04-25 / Front Page

Commissioners To Air Meadow Grounds Concerns

To speak with elected state officials
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

The Fulton County commissioners are moving forward with their plans to contact elected state officials regarding their growing concerns for the drawdown and proposed repair of Meadow Grounds Lake.

In a planning meeting with Lee “Bucky” Zeger of CES Engineering LLC Tuesday morning, commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher decided to move up the rungs of the ladder and take the next proper step in contacting state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. and Sen. Richard Alloway, who chairs the state Game and Fisheries Committee. Their ultimate goal through the contact would be to entertain an audience with Gov. Tom Corbett or to at least have their concerns conveyed through the senators.

Zeger emphasized to the commissioners the need to work these local connections.

Zeger also pointed out the best solution would be to get state officials, including Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection, to see the proposed at the county level as the “best economical solution” for the county and its people. Zeger said those state officials involved to date agree with CES Engineering’s recent report on the alleged problems at the lake and Roaring Run Dam, just not the solution being suggested at a local level for the combined use of a clay liner and pressure grouting. In fact, pressure grouting was utilized at the Scotland Dam with positive results, he noted.

Zeger reminded the commissioners the problems are not with the dam itself. He added while he feels it won’t break or give way, state officials are concerned about the longterm effect seepage could have. Zeger reiterated the ongoing seepage is coming through the bedrock foundation, and the state’s suggested fix will not stop the problem.

Zeger pointed out contradicting statements given by state officials to the commissioners referring to that particular meeting as a “dog and pony show.” Asked by Commissioner Dasher to share his personal view on what’s happening at Meadow Grounds, Zeger said he felt the state is trying to cut their budget with the elimination of dams statewide, and the drawdown would eliminate future maintenance and inspection costs.

Commissioner McCray referred to Zeger’s comment as a “pretty good assumption.”

“What we need to do is get ownership of this deal and follow through with raising money,” said McCray, citing it as a project for the county and its people.

Zeger referenced the $4 million price tag associated with the proposed repairs calling it “ridiculous.” He said he was unsure how state officials arrived at that number as the repair options are only in the “conceptual” phase.

“I’m sure they’d be happy to accept a $4 million check from our people,” added Commissioner Cutchall.

Zeger agreed to provide the commissioners with a cost analysis for repairs, such as those associated with the spillway. He is performing the analysis at no additional cost to the county. He also said he would prepare a synopsis of what needs to be repaired and why in the event the commissioners are able to entertain an audience with the Governor’s Office.

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