New opportunity for funds for Lake Lanier Dam

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

Tryon Town Manager presents plan to address maintenance


TRYON—Town Manager Jim Fatland proposed a new funding opportunity for the Lake Lanier Dam to the council members at the Tryon Town Council meeting on Tuesday, January 16. 

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South Carolina is formally asking the federal government for a FEMA grant of $585 million to improve dams in the state. Upon receiving the grant, South Carolina then plans on receiving applications from other areas to procure some of those funds for work on their own dams. The deadline for South Carolina to request the funds is February 21, and Tryon’s deadline to appeal for some of those funds is in July, though no firm date has yet been set.

Lake Lanier Dam was first built in 1925 and is in desperate need of maintenance and upgrades. 

“That’s why I want to get the team in place now, so we’ll be in a good position,” Fatland said. “We must follow the federal procurement rules.”

The exact amount that Tryon will be requesting or receiving has not yet been decided. The town wants engineers to make that estimate once their preliminary work is completed. 

An alternative analysis will be made by Cranston Engineering, which will cost the town $76,000. The analysis will detail the town’s options and the costs of those options. Tryon has used Cranston Engineering for previous analyses in the past. The town will hold interviews to decide who will design the construction in the future. 

The town manager also attended a FEMA instruction class offered in Columbia, S.C., that was required to apply for grant funds. Fatland said he would attend more classes if requested. 

“That’s a process that has to be done to secure federal funding with a successful application. It’s a major project and we’re a small town. So I want to make sure the town follows all the correct steps so we get proper funding,” Fatland said. “If I didn’t push for this 2024 money, we would lose this opportunity. That’s why I pushed this idea to the town council.” 

A motion was made to authorize the town manager to work with the engineering company on the project and was passed unanimously.