GRADY COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Grady County will soon have the money to begin construction on the Tired Creek Lake project.
County commissioners approved 15-million dollars in bonds at a low interest rate and say it's an investment that will pay off in the long run for Grady County residents.
The Tired Creek Lake Project's long history is proving to be no match against Grady County Commissioners.
"A lot of red tape to go through. A lot of hurdles," explains commissioner Charles Norton. "Most people would turn around but we figured why not? Fortunately, we were lucky enough to get a permit."
But just as the ball began rolling on the project, the economy began slowing down. The board of commissioners decided to take out 15-million dollars in bonds at just under 4-percent. They continue to search for federal grant money.
"I hope there will be some," says Norton. "But at least we've got funding in place now even if it's a debt to the county so we can go ahead and build this thing. But if we don't build it now it'll never get built."
"Pay a little now and get a big return later?" considers Grady County resident and pastor, Barbara Daniel. "That would be good. That's okay."
Officials expect to start filling the lake with water in 3 years. But it could take up to 10 years to become fully-functional and begin making money for the county.
"We just don't have the money all at once," Norton admits. "If we had 100-million dollars, then yeah, we can have a turn-key facility. But we don't. People just gotta be patient. We have other lakes around here-Blackshear, Seminole, Eufaula-and we see them as we do today. We didn't see it start and how long it took for it to be what it is today."
"I think the ten years will go by quickly and it'll be worth the wait," says Daniels. "Because I'll definitely be one of the ones to go visit. I think it would be nice for the people of Grady County since we don't have much to do around here."
And officials hope when Tired Creek Lake opens, it'll be one of southwest Georgia's premiere tourist attractions.
Grady County commissioners are now submitting plans for the lake's buffer and fisheries management to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
They say the next step will be bidding out to timber companies and working on a dam design.