Logan County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance Tuesday that will regulate any residential development in the “breach impact” areas within the Mud River Conservancy District of Logan County.
Craig Givens, District Conservationist for USDA-NRCS and liaison for the Mud River Water Shed Conservatory came to fiscal court Tuesday, along with Conservancy members Bob Riggs and Maxine Hinton for consideration of a second reading of the ordinance, which was complied by a committee of members from fiscal court and the Conservancy.
Certain areas of Logan County are below Floodwater Retarding Structures (FRS) and would be subject to substantial flooding should a breach occur. This is why the Mud River Water Shed Conservancy District, along with a push by the state, wanted to implement an ordinance that would educate the public of the dangers of building residential structures in these targeted areas and restrict such building.
There are 13 lakes in Logan County, with the watershed board focusing on 11. Concern for people’s safety has prompted the board to action of putting something in place that will protect the community. What would happen if there were a great rain, said Givens, one which caused a breach in a lake dam and someone was living underneath it?
The 13 lakes in Logan County include: Hildabrand/White, Boy Scout Lake (owned by the city of Russellville), Bond Lake, Borders Lake, Tommy Brown, Spa Lake (owned jointly by cities of Russellville and Lewisburg), Turner Lake, Hoover Lake, Rendering Plant, Moats Lick, Logan Aluminum, Lewisburg City Lake and Winn Head.
There are currently three residences that are already living beneath some of these lakes which would be affected if there were a breach. The ordinance says that no buildings presently located within the FRS Breach Impact Areas shall be relocated, extended, converted, or structurally altered with the exception that a building may be relocated to an approved site out of a FRS Breach Impact Area.
The Watershed Board has been spending a great deal of time looking at impact areas around the lakes and properties. Givens said the USDA has completed a breach analysis to see what areas would be impacted around the lakes. There will also be signs placed near the lakes to inform the property owners of the restrictions.
“It’s all about informing people about what could happen,” said Riggs. “We are worried about people’s lives. If someone drowns it would be horrible. People would then be asking why someone didn’t tell them,” Riggs added.
*The Mud River Watershed Conservancy District began in the 1950s when residents, mostly farmers, organized themselves and contributed funds for the purpose of sending a local attorney to Washington in effort to get protection against erosion and flooding damages in the area. Nothing was accomplished until Public Law 566 was authorized by Congress in 1954. As soon as 566 was passed by Congress, Soil Conservation Districts in Logan, Todd, Muhlenberg and Butler counties applied for assistance on Mud River. The Mud River Watershed Association was organized at the same time. The Mud River Wastershed Association served as a coordinating organization until the local people voted in the Mud River Watershed Conservancy District.