By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
After more than a decade of planning, the Cullman utilities board now officially owns property in the Duck River watershed — the first step toward building a dam and creating a secondary water source for the area.
The move is the first truly tangible step for the project, which languished in environmental lawsuits for much of the 2000s. After the final suit was won in early 2009, the city restarted planning for the dam.
That work has now culminated in the purchase of two of the 110 parcels necessary for construction. Once it’s eventually complete, the $68 million project will create a 640-acre lake with a 32-million-gallon-per-day capacity in northeast Cullman County, providing a secondary source in addition to Lake Catoma.
City officials have sent offer letters for virtually all of the 21 parcels needed for phase 1 of construction, totaling approximately $2.5 million in offers.
“We’ve closed on properties at Duck River, so we now own property in the watershed,” Susan Eller, with the Cullman Economic Development Agency, said. “That’s a big step, obviously.”
On the planning side, engineers are mapping out the proposed pipeline to carry water from the lake, with the ideal route running parallel to U.S. Highway 278.
* Read more about this topic in the Sunday, July 3, 2011. edition of The Cullman Times.