Franklin Co. BOC Turns Down BRWA Resolution

October 1, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Franklin County’s Board of Commissioners is saying no to approving a resolution that would support the Broad River Watershed Association and its plan to put in a water trail.

The Broad River Water Trail currently runs from the Hudson River and Middle Fork Broad River in the Northern End of the Watershed to BobbyBrownState   Park.

It includes 10 access points, two public and eight on private property with public access to boat launches, plus eight highway bridge crossings.

Last month, the Franklin County Commission heard from Broad River Watershed Association Representative Nancy Freeman.

She talked to Franklin County Commissioners about the importance of the river trail to local economies.

Freeman did not ask for any funding for the project.

However, at their work session last week, Franklin County Commissioner Clint Harper expressed concern that might happen eventually.

“I don’t see that this would be beneficial for the county,” Harper said. “I just see a lot of potential liability for the county, and I know from past experience, that this would end up costing the county money.”

Fellow Franklin County Commissioner Jeff Jacques agreed and said he had concerned about the group itself.

“Number one I have concerns about the entity itself; about its function, about its charter,” Jacques said. “I think it would be prudent not to pursue any money on legal fees to spend time modifying this document. This looks like it would be opening the door for them to come to the county later and start asking for funding.”

Counties within the Watershed include: Stephens, Franklin, Hart, Habersham, Banks, Athens-Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, and Lincoln.

The trail will ultimately be 70 miles long beginning on the Hudson River in BanksCounty or 75 miles long on the Middle Fork of the Broad River, continuing downstream along the Broad River, and finishing in Clark’s Hill Reservoir in McCormick, Georgia.

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