COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Homeowners around Lake Katherine and Columbia City officials celebrated a new deal to help run sewer lines through the Lake Katherine neighborhood, deepen the lake and improve cooperation to combat future flood disasters.
"It's really a win with the City of Columbia, the City of Columbia Water and Sewer customers, but also the residents of Lake Katherine," said Joey Jaco, City Director of Utilities and Engineering.
On Tuesday night, the Columbia City Council approved an agreement with the Lake Katherine Homeowners Association. The pact calls for the HOA to help the City get easements and rights-of-way for a sanitary sewer project in the area and temporarily lower the water level in the lake, so that work on the project
can go on. For its part, the City will provide up to $390,000 to dredge the lake of what could be 30,000-cubic yards of sediment that has flowed into the lake from upstream.
The deal also specifies that the City and the HOA "agree to work together during threats of inclement weather to identify opportunities to lower the lake and accommodate excess storage capacity" in anticipation of heavy rains and potential flooding.
"We saw the results of what a flood can do," said Gary Snyder, with the HOA, "and if we have the opportunity to control the water levels that will positively impact downstream residents, we certainly want to help in doing so."
Lake Katherine residents said that controlling lake levels in anticipation of floods took on greater urgency after the floods of October 2015, but added the talks between the neighborhood and the City on dredging the lake had been going on for years.
"The City would like us to help them seek easements on the property owners to provide construction on those properties and of course the homeowners association is seeking funding assistance for the dredging of our lake," said Snyder. "So it's a win-win partnership, we feel, for both parties."