HOLMES COUNTY – Local nonprofit organization Friends of Dogwood Lakes presented a $5,000 check for a survey of the community’s “big lake” to the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners when they met in regular session Nov. 16.
The lake drained in 2018 after the emergency relief valve failed. The county subsequently replaced the valve with a spillway, but now the lake has not risen to the level it once was. A survey was conducted by county engineering firm Dewberry Engineering, Inc., which then placed a spillway at the site to meet Army Corps of Engineers height requirements.
Some residents are not satisified with that solution and have asked the county to re-survey the lake and have a third-party engineer review the work done by Dewberry Engineering. Friends of Dogwood Lakes helped support this community request with the $5,000 presented to commissioners Tuesday, which will be used to pay Alday-Howell Engineering to complete the review and new survey of the lake. There is no plan in place yet should the review and survey come back as incorrect.
Friends of Dogwood Lakes also advised commissioners of their work with Liberty Partners to apply for funds from Florida Lake Management Society’s “Love Your Lake” grant. The $25,000 in potential funding will be used to remove the abundance of maidencane, a nuisance plant that has grown since the lake drained, from the shoreline to open water. Commissioners are expected to approve the organization’s request to move forward with the application process at their next meeting.
In other business, commissioners amended a previous decision about the paving project on Beall Packing Road. Commissioners approved in a Nov. 8 special session to fund the project out of the road department contingency fund at a cost of $40,000; however, the measure was rescinded due to a price increase. The increase comes from finding out the length of the road was longer than previously thought at 3,265 ft., bringing the project total to $71,760. The project will now be paid out of the Local Option Gas Tax fund.
Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7.