11 June 2015

[TPC]- Lake Varner Water Levels; A Conversation with the Chairman

The Piedmont Chronicles 

~ est. 2010 ~

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

I've been asking the same question for quite some time: why were the water levels for Lake Varner kept low for so long? It was the basis for Tommy Craig's push for the Bear Creek Reservoir. Due to some superb reporting by the Covington News, we found out that there was at least some interaction between Craig and the director of the Cornish Creek Water Plant director, Jason Nord.

Many pointed to this as a big deal, or even perhaps a smoking gun of some sort. However, as anyone who has been following WTC for some time will tell you - smoking guns are very hard to come by. Red Herrings? Forget about it...

I started a file on this when the news first hit in February. It wasn't, however, high on my to-do list. That was until I saw the news that Nord was resigning his position and would no longer be a county employee as of 5PM tomorrow afternoon.

So I called over to Cornish Creek first thing this A.M. Nord wasn't there, but I had the chance to talk to a James Brown who is apparently the #2 over there. A nice guy - he was very nice - but he informed me that I'd "have to talk to the county manager about that," when asking why water levels were purposefully kept low at Varner. When I asked why that was the case, he informed that they were directed to do so. I tried to dig a bit but he wasn't budging.

I told him to have Nord to call me. I then, later on, called back multiple times and even left a voicemail once, but have yet to hear back from him.

I then proceeded to call the new, interim county manger, Mr. Owens. Left a VM. Haven't heard back.  Not that it would do any good. He doesn't know anything about this. Tom Garrett would, but he's no longer with the county.

So...I was kind of stuck. So I did what I usually do in these situations. I started harassing our esteemed Chairman of the Board, Keith Ellis. Multiple calls to his cell phone and also to his office secretary eventually netted a call-back.

We ended up talking for a good 30 minutes. That's coming up next...