The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 3, 2012

Snails may delay debris operations in creeks

ATHENS — Though it may seem the debris removal from waterways following the April 27, 2011, tornadoes is moving at a snail’s pace, the presence of federally protected snails in three creeks may complicate the process.

County Engineer Richard Sanders told the Limestone County Commission during a work session Wednesday the snails are present in Limestone and Piney Creeks. The species have been identified as the armored snail (Marstsonia Pachyta) and slender campeloma (Campeloma Decampi).

Sanders said bids for the cleanup are set to be open today and will come before the commission at Monday’s regular meeting.

The debris removal project was approved by the Natural Resources Conversation Service in February and identified 10 waterways for cleanup operations. The NRCS will pay 90 percent, or $659,090, of the cost while the county will pay 10 percent, or $73,232.

The sites and cost for each include:

• Ingram Road at Rock Creek, $176,092;

• Garrett Road at Piney Creek Relief, $19,626;

• Old Highway 20 at Limestone Creek Fork, $3,971;

• Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road at Piney Creek; main creek and two relief channels, $72,680;

• French’s Mill Creek; from Capshaw Road to U.S. 72, $284,939;

• Capshaw Road at Martin Branch Creek; from Capshaw Road to near Bledsoe Road, $39,864;

• East Limestone Road; north of East Land Subdivision, $22,215;

• Nick Davis Road at Limestone Creek, $61,719;

• Lucas Ferry Road at an unnamed branch; south of Moyers Road, $40,523; and

• Pepper Road west of Magnolia Terrace, $10,692.

Sanders said it could take two weeks for a wildlife expert to determine if the snails are present in Piney Creek at Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road. However, the snail discovery would not impact or delay operations at the seven other sites.

He said any work performed at sites where snails are present will have to employ more precautions.

The project must be completed by July 31.

The commission took action on only two items at the work session, one of which was to sell two Caterpillar full track tractors on GovDeals for District 3. The commission also voted to hire Stacey Pope as an equipment operator in District 3, pending a drug and alcohol screening.

The County Commission will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday at the Clinton Street annex.

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