Lake Adger appraisal should be complete this month

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Polk County could soon know how much Lake Adger is worth. 

County commissioners agreed in June to hire Hartman Consultants, who bid $35,300 to appraise the lake.

Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said last week the appraisal of the lake is scheduled to be complete in September, as the consultant has already visited the site.

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The majority of commissioners decided early this year to sell Lake Adger with all commissioners voting to seek an appraisal of the lake to see what it is worth. Commissioners also directed Pittman and county attorney Jana Berg to research selling the lake as well as potential buyers for the lake.

Polk County agreed to purchase the lake from Northbrook Carolina Hydro LLC in May 2008 for $1.6 million for a future water source. Polk negotiated a contract with Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD) last year for a partnership where ICWD would pay for initial repairs to the dam, would maintain the county’s water system and install $100,000 a year worth of water lines within Polk County in exchange for the use of Lake Adger’s water for the next 75 years.

ICWD ended up pulling out of negotiations late last year after Polk wanted ICWD to maintain the dam for the full length of the contract. ICWD operates Polk’s current water system and the county is still running water line extensions throughout the county. Polk’s current water source comes from the Broad River Water Authority, which ran a main line through Green Creek in order to connect its system with ICWD.

Polk County originally sought two appraisals for the lake but two companies working on the appraisal would have cost approximately $80,000 so the county chose Hartman Consultants out of Florida to do the work alone.

Gerry Hartman is an engineer, accredited senior appraiser with a specialty in public utilities and a special magistrate for tangible personal property. He graduated from Duke University with a master’s degree and has appraised more than 600 water, wastewater, electric, gas and solid waste utilities.

Hartman said he will adopt the premise of value in the potential use as a raw water reservoir with the current volume, inflow/streamflow and safe yield of 8 million gallons per day. Hartman will use two studies previously conducted on the Turner Shoals Dam for the appraisal.

Commissioners decided to pay for the $35,300 contract with Hartman from money the county reserves for dam repairs.

It is not known exactly when the appraisal will be complete. The county only meets once this month which is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 19.