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Authority approves removal of wetland
The Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority has decided to pursue wetland removal on property it owns on Jack Hartman Boulevard off U.S. 17.

The 190-acre property, near the state Department of Driver Services, includes wooded areas, open grass and wetlands.

Dave Smith, interim director of the authority, says though there are no immediate plans for the property, the wetland removal became an important issue with a looming permit deadline from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"If we don't complete (the isolated) wetland removal by Dec. 10, then we have to go back and start over. It would be much more costly," Smith said. The board has hit some snags. Originally, about four acres of wetland was planned for removal, at an estimated cost of $70,000. Because of the summer's wet weather and location of the wetlands on the property, Smith says eight acres will now need work.

"It's not just the wetlands themselves. You have to disturb property to get to the wetland area, put down silt fencing. It's very strict on how you do this," Smith said.

During a called meeting Sept. 12, the board went with a consultant's estimate and agreed to spend up to $155,000 on the project.

The bids came in lower than anticipated, and the authority received two options, one for $103,000 and another for $117,000.

The less costly of the two was a small company that the authority wasn't necessarily sure could get all of the work down before the deadline. The board chose to go with the higher bid, local construction company Seaboard.

Smith said Seaboard plans to contract with the smaller company, the one the board passed up, for most of the work. Seaboard will be responsible for the project and will ensure its completion on schedule.

The authority has received inquiries from two solar panel-producing companies in the past six months about the property, though nothing has moved forward, Smith said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.



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