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Duck River Reservoir will soon reach its next milestone in becoming a lasting water source for the Cullman area.

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For the Duck River project team, years of planning, testing, engineering — and, at times, controversy — are slowly beginning to yield results …

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The Cullman Utilities Board is on track to finish the Duck River reservoir within budget, and construction should reach final completion in ap…

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With the current phase of the Duck River Dam winding down, the Cullman city and county road departments took advantage of some supply overruns that look to be left over following construction.

A large stockpile of sand will be left over, so contractor ASI is working with the city street department and county road department to fill local dump trucks and allow for those materials to be kept locally for future use. Sand can be used to treat roads in the event of icy conditions, mixed to create concrete, or mixed with top soil for city projects. The sand itself was manufactured on-site.

“They had some leftover sand, so I called [Cullman County Commission] Chairman Walker, and we thought it’d be great to take that resource and use it for our street and road departments,” Cullman Mayor Max Townson said. “We can use that sand when we have bad weather, and we really appreciate it.”

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Following the record flooding that filled the new Duck River reservoir and left a large generator underwater, officials are now working to contain a fuel spill caused by the submerged equipment and pull the large machine from the lake.

Phase 2 contractor ASI Constructors had a large generator still on site when the storms hit, and were unable to remove it before it was fully submerged. According to an incident report filed on Dec. 30, crews at the site noted a “100-foot sheen” that smelled of diesel fuel in the water, which was almost certainly caused by the fuel in the submerged generator. The tank was carrying approximately 650 gallons of gas, though officials note the amount that spilled could potentially be less. As a point of reference, the lake holds 4.5 billion gallons of water.

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The torrential rain that filled the new Duck River reservoir also buried some construction equipment, which has reportedly caused a 650-gallon…

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It was projected to take as long as 12 months for the new Duck River reservoir to fill with water, though the record flooding that hit Cullman County on Christmas cut that estimate down from one year to approximately one week.

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It won’t be much longer until Cullman County has a brand new lake.

With work on the dam structure virtually complete and a temporary concrete plug installed, the new Duck River reservoir is officially starting to fill with water.

The temporary plug was installed on Saturday, Dec. 19, and officials say the reservoir has already backed up 22 feet of water. The bottom of the river is at 605 elevation, and water has risen to 627. Full pool for the lake is set for 725, so the water level will still need to rise another 100 feet over the next several months. The water level will reach the intake at an elevation of 657.

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With the Duck River reservoir project almost to the point where it can start filling with water, the Cullman Utilities Board is looking ahead to potential educational avenues to use the project as a learning tool about the construction process and geological make-up of the area. One option at the top of the list: Virtual reality.

The board has granted preliminary approval to work with Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE program to develop an immersive 3D experience about the project and the construction process. The proposed virtual reality experience would use the Oculus Rift and Oculus Gear VR tech, which is gaining traction in both the film and video game industry.

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Thanks to some excess grant money left behind by a lower-than-expected bid on the main trail, the Cullman Utilities Board will be adding an additional three miles of public trails to the Duck River Dam site.

The additional miles will cost $72,869 to build, though the vast majority of that will be funded by leftover grant funds. Earlier this year, city officials approved phase two of the Duck River recreational trail plan, which includes the addition of several new miles of trails, along with foot bridges to eventually connect the separate pieces.

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If construction remains on schedule, the Duck River reservoir could be at a point where water could start filling the reservoir by the end of the year.

The reservoir project will create a 640-acre lake with a 32-million-gallon-per-day capacity in northeast Cullman County, which will work in conjunction with the area’s current sole major water source Lake Catoma. The design will be a hybrid, with roller-compacted concrete in the center and earthen wings.

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Work continues on the Duck River Dam, and officials report the massive reservoir project remains on-target to start filling this November.

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Despite some wet weather and an accelerated construction schedule, the contractor behind the current phase of the Duck River dam reports the p…

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Blasting is under way at the Duck River dam, and officials want to remind the public to avoid the affected area because it remains an active c…

With a bill to create a Duck River water management authority (WMA) stalled in the state legislature, the Cullman County Commission has steppe…

The second phase of construction on Cullman’s Duck River Dam reservoir is underway, and officials say the work should create close to 50 new j…

It’s official: The Cullman Utilities Board has approved ASI Constructors, Inc. as the engineer for phase II of the Duck River Dam project, whi…

New design estimates indicate the higher-than-expected cost of the Duck River Dam is trending down — but Cullman officials won’t know exactly …

Additional excavation work at the site of the Duck River dam has uncovered more clay at the construction site than engineers had originally an…

With Phase I excavation complete, city officials and engineers are now designing the proposed hybrid-style dam that will be built in the Duck …

With construction ramping up in northeast Cullman County at the site of the Duck River dam, city officials are eyeing some increased security …

What was once a row of chicken houses is now red dirt and earth walls in northeast Cullman County, as site work continues on the Duck River Da…

Following an official groundbreaking at the site of the Duck River Dam last week, construction is continuing as scheduled on the foundation th…

If city officials needed any more proof that work on the Duck River dam is officially under way, it came early Tuesday afternoon at the utilit…

Once bids officially opened Tuesday for the Duck River Dam project, it didn’t take long for contractors to send in their proposals. Less than …

With work on the Duck River dam finally ready to ramp up, contractors from across the state — and nation — are champing at the bit to be involved.

As of this week, construction bids for the Duck River dam are officially open. Local officials see it as a milestone in the project’s nearly t…

The Cullman Utilities Board has purchased more than one-third of the property needed to construct a dam in the Duck River watershed, with abou…

Encouraging news came from the Duck River watershed last week as the first purchases of land for the new water source were made.

With land acquisition under way, and construction set to start in the coming months, the team managing Cullman’s Duck River Dam project is eye…

An effort to create a watershed management authority failed in this session of the Legislature, which leaves city and county officials ponderi…

Similar proposed bills in the state House and Senate aimed at creating a watershed management authority for Cullman County could pass before t…

Bonds totaling about $58 million were sold this week, clearing the way for bids to be let for Duck River dam construction in early fall.

The book is now closed on the saga of the failed utility boards that seemed — for a brief time, last spring — poised to take over all water op…

The long years of arguing over an alternative water source for Cullman County should be drawing to a close, especially with confirmation that …

Almost 20 years ago, Tom Bevill secured $5 million dollars which he presented to our county government to help poultry industry expansion in t…

The two water utility entities whose creation and belabored existence dominated county politics for much of the past year capitulated to legal…

With the construction start date set for this spring, Cullman officials nailed down some financing specifics and discussed the pending land ac…

As with most things, progress comes at a cost. For area water customers, it will likely take an increase of about $5 per month to fund the con…

Though she will likely lose the place she has called home for the past 35 years, Cullman County resident Linda Chumley said she is content to …

Two recent developments concerning water have brought a measure of hope to one of the most ardent critics of the City of Cullman’s pricing of …

A more accurate project cost has emerged for the City of Cullman’s Duck River Dam project, as engineer of record CH2M Hill works to update pla…

After some initial questions about what role a project manager should play in the proposed $70 million Duck River dam, city officials have now…

With the Governmental Utility Services Corporation of Cullman County (GUSC) having lasted nearly a year — almost all of it embattled in litiga…

City officials took the first step toward financing the proposed Duck River dam Friday — though they are no closer to choosing a project manager.

Though Cullman officials know they will need between $60-70 million to build the proposed Duck River Dam — exactly how they will go about borr…

With surveys in the immediate construction area complete, Cullman officials hope to begin land acquisition for the Duck River dam project in F…

With hopes to start construction on the Duck River Dam in mid-to-late 2011, the Cullman Utilities Board interviewed three candidates for the p…

The two sides in the county’s long-running water dispute came out of mediation Monday speaking in general terms about where litigation over co…

Following a day-long session of mediation talks ordered by the Alabama Supreme Court, at least one side in the ongoing litigation over control…

Mediation talks began Monday between both sides in the protracted litigation over the existence of a controversial county water utility board.

Cullman’s Duck River dam project is moving closer to a projected summer 2011 startup.

It has been a quiet week for litigation in the civil lawsuit over control of Cullman County’s water supply since a circuit judge’s order force…

The Birmingham law firm that helped usher in the creation of two controversial water utility boards to supplant the Cullman County Water Depar…

The Cullman County Soil and Water Conservation District honored Tim Scott recently as the 2010 Outstanding Employee and I believe that is a gr…

The Duck River project, an issue that has been tied up, shut down, started over, and tossed around for more than 20 years, will be once again …

Call it democracy in action, or call it mob rule.

Opponents of an expected effort by two outgoing county commissioners to pass a number of final-hour resolutions to bolster a controversial wat…

Everyone was there, waiting for it. A lot of frustration; a lot of pent-up ire.

At the behest of associate county commissioner Wayne Willingham, the Cullman County Commission will hold what he is describing as a “special p…

The process of updating maps and property lines is underway, as the City of Cullman works toward the eventual construction of a $70 million da…

Instead of having to negotiate a $7.5 million surety bond to wage an appeal before the Supreme Court of Alabama over its right to exist, the S…

The Supreme Court of Alabama has authorized both parties in the long legal battle for custody of Cullman County’s water system to attempt an a…

In the wake of a spurning by the Supreme Court of Alabama, plaintiffs in the ongoing civil suit over control of the county’s water department …

After a circuit court hearing ordered by the Supreme Court of Alabama to determine the bond defendants must post as a condition of the high co…

Plaintiffs in the ongoing civil suit over the creation of a water cooperative seeking to supplant Cullman County as the owner of the county wa…

In an effort to improve some supply and water pressure issues, the City of Cullman has approved work to a waterline feeding into the southern …

Two months of legal posturing in a lawsuit over ownership of the Cullman County water department came full circle Friday, leaving defendants i…

Both sides in the county’s ongoing water lawsuit added a coda to Monday’s circuit court hearing on the issue, summarizing their positions in a…

After being ordered to rule on one count of a water utility lawsuit that defendants had appealed to the state Supreme Court, Circuit Judge Don…

A circuit court hearing mandated by the Alabama Supreme Court has been postponed at the request of both parties to the lawsuit concerning the …

The chief examiner of the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts authorized an expanded audit Monday of county entities involved i…

The Alabama Supreme Court has referred a request from defendants to stay a circuit judge’s injunction in a civil lawsuit over which county ent…

Depositions continued last week in a protracted legal battle pitting two associate county commissioners, along with the two water boards they …

Environmental survey teams were on site around Duck River earlier this month, completing required prep work before the City of Cullman can mov…

Depositions in the civil suit against the Cullman County Commission and the two county water utility boards it created got under way late this…

The board of the South Cumberland Cooperative District (SCCD) gathered Monday for its scheduled June meeting, but adhered to a court order by …

The two controversial water entities that have been in administrative limbo since being temporarily stripped of their powers by a circuit judg…

Deposing of witnesses in the civil lawsuit against those involved in the formation of Cullman County’s new water utility board and cooperative…

Cullman County’s application to draw water from Smith Lake has been put on indefinite hold.

In a preliminary injunction order Friday afternoon, Circuit Judge Don Hardeman effectively reset the Cullman County Water Department to the st…

A hearing Friday will address a request for a restraining order against two county commissioners and the water entities they created last mont…

Plaintiffs seeking a restraining order against the recently created South Cumberland Cooperative District and its oversight board, the Governm…

Editor’s Note: This is the final of a three-part series detailing the events of the April 27 meeting of the Cullman County Commission. The com…

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed May 7 against the new county water cooperative, along with its oversight board and the two associate commissione…

A multiparty lawsuit filed May 7 against two associate county commissioners and others involved in the formation of a new oversight structure …

There was hardly room to breathe at Wednesday’s meeting of the Cullman County Commission, as more than 50 county residents interested in the c…

The inaugural meeting of the South Cumberland Cooperative District (SCCD) ended up serving double duty as a venting session for more than 50 c…

The Cullman County Commission has sent the City of Cullman a letter listing 10 provisions it wants to discuss before making a decision to sign…

Approximately $200,000 of preparatory work has been approved by the Cullman Utilities Board to begin the first phase of the Duck River Dam project.

The Vinemont, Anon and West Point (VAW) Water Authority has signed on to join the City of Cullman’s Duck River Dam project, leaving Cullman Co…

The City of Cullman un-tabled and voted down a motion to hire an independent facilitator with the county to discuss the secondary water source…

Last month, the Cullman County Commission proposed a plan to create a second water source in the area that would allegedly be cheaper and quic…

Cullman County water customers can expect higher monthly rates beginning in December.

As far as Cullman city officials are concerned, they provide some of the highest-quality water in the area.

Four local water authority representatives signed contracts Tuesday to join with the city of Cullman’s Duck River dam reservoir project.

The City of Cullman and the Cullman County Commission have their own proposals for a second water source for the area, and neither group has s…

The City of Cullman will go ahead with the Duck River Dam plan and not support the county’s proposal to establish a new regional water board a…

The City of Cullman may be ready to move ahead with its Duck River Dam project, but the Cullman County Commission is still looking at other op…

Sen. Zeb Little will hold a public meeting Tuesday in Cullman to discuss how the proposed Jefferson County legislative tax rescue may impact s…

Moving forward Judge rules in favor of long delayed water reservoir project By Trent Moore Staff Writer Cullman Mayor Max Townson high-f…

By Brittany Woodby BWOODBY@CULLMANTIMES.COM As the area’s water supply dwindles, Cullman’s city and the county leaders are working on plan…

By Brittany Woodby BWOODBY@CULLMANTIMES.COM City and county officials met with engineers Wednesday to learn more about the current drought s…

With the city and many county water customers under a mandatory water conservation plan, the county is proceeding with its plan to obtain up t…

Chairman Wiley Kitchens said the county is looking for other sources of water at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting due to the exceptional dr…

Approximately four months after Mayor Don Green declared a state of emergency and initiated a voluntary water conservation program for all cus…

The city of Cullman was not included in plans for an out-of-county land purchase that could provide a new source of drinking water to the Cull…

After a four-year delay, months of litigation and the compiling of mounds of documentation aimed at addressing environmental concerns raised b…

As the sun-baked shores of Cullman's Lake Catoma, seen from Ala. Highway 157, continue to grow with the receding water level this week, city o…