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Sand dredging to resume in South River

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Commissioners has approved an application to restart a commercial sand dredging operation in the South River.

Petitioner Dan Schildt, of Southeast River Sand LLC, told the board at its Aug. 21 meeting that he wants to restart the business after a one-year hiatus. His operation entails pumping sand from the river and selling it to businesses and the public. Schildt said he hopes to pump between 15,000 and 25,000 tons of sand a year, which would amount to three to five truckloads per day, but added that realistically, he will probably get less than that. During the last few years, sales have been approximately 13,000 tons per year, with an average of two truckloads per day. Most traffic will go north on Butler Bridge to Hwy. 20 and a few loads will go south to Hwy. 212.

The process helps clean the river, Schildt said, because, "All the trash in the river that I pump out, we don't put it back in."

Sand dredging has been done at the site since about 2001, he said. The portion of property in questions is a remote location along South River accessed by a 3,800 foot long private gravel driveway off Butler Bridge Road, with no adjacent neighbors in Newton or bordering Henry County.

Hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., approximately 85 percent of the time and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., approximately 15 percent of the time, Monday through Friday, according to a letter of intent Schildt sent the county. Schildt said he is also hoping to be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from early spring through early fall on Saturdays for residents who want river sand for landscaping projects.

"Dredging helps pump trash out of the river, lowers sand levels which aids in flood control, and creates deeper water for recreational use," Schildt said.

Comments

Newtownqq 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if the EPA knows about this? How does the BOC have the power to make this decision. No detailed plans were provided nor was any information made public concerning plans or information. This is another example of our BOC making their own political decisions. I am sure Tommy Craig counseled the BOC on this matter and billed the BOC well.

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dennistay53 1 year, 11 months ago

The law states that they have to put up a substantial bond with the federal government before doing this type work. This is suppose to insure that they do no damage to the river and wetlands. Noting the small amount of sand they are pumping i don't see how they could have done this because they simply can't make the money to cover this. I am very disturbed as to what is going on to our river and streams in Newton county. This paper ran two stories of dumping of asbestoes material on the Yellow River in 2008. The company was sited by the Ga EPD. To this day most of the material is still on the banks of the river and the violator is still operating in Newton and Rockdale counties. The state will not clean this up because it is the responsibilty of Newton County to protect it,s River and streams. The county attorney, whose job it was to go after this violator has let them off the hook.I have been told by someone in the county that the cost of cleaning this up will be close to half a million dollars. Sooner or later the Newton County taxpayers will have to cover this. I hope Mrs Tatum will check to see if this company pumping this sand has posted the necessary bond for us. She has the knowledge of how to do this. If not i will try to find out since i have contacts with the EPD. The reason i know you have to post bond is because i have land on a river in Newton County and a company asked me about letting them use my property to pump sand. After researching other areas where sand was being pumped i found out that it is not the roses for the river as they make it out to be. Quite frankly most dredgers care very little about the river and most about making money and governments care very little about going after violators. Our rivers and streams in Newton County are going down the proverbial toilet daily.

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