Berkeley Lake Dam still in need of repairs

BERKELEY LAKE --Rich Edinger, an engineer with Clark Patterson Lee and Berkeley Lake's city engineer, reported to Mayor Lois Salter and council Thursday that FEMA has not been returning his phone calls for several weeks.

The city approached FEMA months ago for financial help to make necessary repairs to Berkeley Lake Dam. Around the middle of March, FEMA agreed to pay about $1 million of the estimated $4 million repair price tag, but city officials are wanting more than that.

Edinger believes a second crack found on the dam is also due to last fall's record flooding.

If Edinger is right about the cause of the damage, FEMA will pay the city more toward the cost of dam repairs.

The city is prepared to appeal FEMA's most recent decision to pay $1 million.

"I think if we want further action, we're going to have to do that in the form of an appeal," Edinger said.

City leaders approved a 2010 budget amendment of $20,000 Thursday, earmarking that money for "miscellaneous dam repairs."

They also gave Salter the go-ahead to enter into a contract with Clark Patterson Lee on behalf of the city to pay $239,090 for preparation of construction documents. The documents are a necessary next step toward the actual repairs, as well as for Georgia Safe Dams' approval of the project.