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Flat Creek stream restoration gets a boost
Gainesville council approves buying and surveying upper north fork of stream
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Gainesville officials are moving forward with Flat Creek stream restoration.

Gainesville City Council members approved a resolution to buy and survey the upper north fork of the stream.

“This basically continues the study and evaluation of the restoration we’ve done,” said City Manager Kip Padgett.

The resolution asks Padgett, City Attorney James Palmour and city staff to acquire additional easements along the stream to complete the project associated with the Midtown greenway.

The resolution allowed $425,000 to go toward the acquisition, legal services and surveying.

In 2004, Flat Creek was listed as one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “impaired waterways” for high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria.

The Gainesville and Hall County governments hired environmental engineers to outline priority projects that could improve the ecological integrity of the Flat Creek watershed, which has been compromised by development and pollution.

“Obviously, it’s not feasible to implement 39 stream (restoration) projects and 24 BMP (best management practice) retrofits in a watershed,” CH2M Hill’s assistant project manager Chrissy Thom said in 2008. “We needed to start identifying projects that are going to provide the greatest benefit in a cost-efficient manner.”

The city contracted with CH2M Hill in 2008 for $177,000 to design the restoration, which focused on returning Flat Creek’s headwaters near the new public safety facility on Queen City Parkway to a more natural state to prevent flooding and erosion.

At the time, city officials also asked the engineers to investigate the feasibility of a regional storm water detention facility for runoff, which has since become part of the Midtown greenway development stretching between the city’s public utilities building on Queen City Parkway and Pine Street.

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