Neighbors fear dam demolition could contaminate Lake Lanier

It’s the latest chapter in the controversial construction of a new subdivision: Neighbors in Forsyth County became concerned when crews began work to tear down a dam near Lake Lanier, a move they believe could contaminate the lake.

A video was posted Wednesday morning to YouTube. It appeared to show contractors starting work to remove the dam.

“Shock. It was like a bomb went off over there,” neighbor Jack Schoer told Channel 2 Action News. “We hope that they don’t have permission yet to take down the dam.”

Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon contacted the developer. He said the Army Corps of Engineers did give him permission to take the dam down, but he claims that work did not start Wednesday.

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“There’s no work being done on the dam today,” the developer said.

Wilfon visited the site off Buford Dam Road in Cumming and found crews working near the dam but not on it.

“Eventually there will be work performed on that dam,” the developer said.

But County Commissioner Laura Semanson said she believes the developers do not yet have permission to remove the dam and said that part of the project needs further review.

Neighbors fear removal of the dam could send soil and chemicals from an old golf course on the site into Lake Lanier, potentially putting them at risk.

“It should be done in some kind of fashion to protect the water, the area around here. That’s our drinking water supply,” Schoer said.

Wilfon is going to reach out to the Corps of Engineers to verify the builder's claim that he has permission to do this.

The developer said he will not allow any of the soil to go into Lake Lanier.

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