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Work proposed to fix Loyall lagoon during meeting

The United States Army Corps of Engineers recently led a meeting in the Loyall Community Center regarding the proposed work on the Loyall lagoon or the ponding area of the old flow of the Cumberland River.

Representatives from the Nashville District of the Corps of Engineers were on hand to update, discuss and secure signatures for right of entry to properties along the banks of the old river.

The project coordinator for the Corps of Engineers told the audience of around 40 people that the project in Loyall was a top priority in the Nashville District and that work would begin in around six to eight months after rights of entry were obtained.

He also said that corrections were necessary because of a design flaw in the original project. He also stated that after the admission of the design flaw and the completion of the environmental impact study, that the Corps was ready to move forward.

Some questions arose from citizens in attendance on whether or not equipment would be parked on properties and for how long, and one resident even questioned if the Corps would be drilling for core samples. Representatives of the Corps tried to alleviate those concerns by saying the intentions of the Corps at this moment was only to seek right of entry to conduct surveys of the land and the ponding area. This did not rule out the remote possibility of equipment being parked or moved through property or drilling for core samples.

Loyall council member Willie Epperson expressed concerns about possible solution to the ponding issues, that of filling in the area and leaving a trench for water flow. Epperson remarked that he and other residents enjoyed the wildlife and fishing provided by the lagoon and said if lagoon was fixed to flow correctly all the problems would be solved.

Epperson also went on to state that if filled with rocks that it would attract copperheads to den and feed in the area. Other citizens in attendance disagreed with the view and felt that the possible plan of filling in and putting a trench would work fine.

After Epperson’s questions were answered, the meeting moved away from a more formal question and answer session to an informal setting where representatives from the Corps of Engineers moved about to answer questions and listening to concerns.

Before the meeting was over, a call was put forth for everyone who had a right of entry form to sign off on allowing entry. Some residents stated that they weren’t in favor of signing and left the meeting without doing so. The Corps of Engineers officials stated they did not yet have a formal plan to fix the problems with the Loyall lagoon, though filling in the lagoon was a possibility.