Berkeley Lake dam funds waiting on Feds

BERKELEY LAKE -- City engineer Rich Edinger updated Mayor Lois Salter and city council members on Lake Berkeley dam improvements Thursday evening. According to Edinger, negotiations with the contractor and Gwinnett County will yield about $66,000 in savings to the city.

Salter added Thursday that, in any matter in which the federal government is funding a project over $1 million, the project has to be announced by Congress before funds released to the municipality. She estimated another 2-month wait before that happens and the city receives funds for the dam repair.

"It's painful, but we are plodding through the process," Salter said.

Berkeley Lake Homeowner Randy Johnson, who owns a home on the lake, asked Salter why voters were presented with the choice in March of approving a $3.2 million bond referendum if they would be waiting for FEMA to fund the majority of the repairs. Salter answered that in March, city leaders did not know that FEMA would be contributing more money than originally committed to the city.

Berkeley Lake will be responsible for about 15 percent of the cost to repair the dam, according to Salter.15 properties annexedFifteen residential properties along Bush Road and Habersham Lane were annexed into the city during Thursday night's council meeting.