After years of neglect by DeKalb, Tucker hires company to fix Twin Brothers Lake

Twin Brothers Lake. Photo obtained via the city of Tucker.

Tucker, GA — The city of Tucker is taking its first steps toward repairing erosion, flooding and vegetation overgrowth at Twin Brothers Lake in Johns Homestead Park.

The lake is split into an upper and lower section, and has served as a popular fishing hole since the 1950s.

Damage at Twin Brothers Lake was caused by years of neglect from DeKalb County, who manages stormwater in Tucker. Contractor AECOM observed several deficiencies during the 2018 inspection, and during subsequent site visits in 2019 and 2020. The report was presented by City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt to City Council in May 2021.

“Both sides of the upper dam and the downstream slope of the lower dam were heavily overgrown with vegetation, with the latter covered with hardwoods as large as 24 inches in diameter. Free water was evident at the downstream toe of the lower dam across most of the width of the dam, indicative of seepage,” the report states.

On May 9, City Council approved an agreement for Root Design Studio to provide schematic design, construction documents, permitting, bidding and construction administration.

A memo from the city says the park will receive new trails, bridges, boardwalks, community features and native plantings and improve the overall environment within the park.

Root Design Studio will receive $208,500 from the $2.5 million grant Tucker received from Georgie Outdoor Stewardship Program. The GOSP was a program designed to provide funding for these types of projects and the city was successful in acquiring full funding.

Friends of Johns Homestead Park is contributing $13,000 and volunteer hours.

Michael Kidd of Root Design Studio has a longstanding relationship with Tucker parks. He served on the advisory committee for the parks master plan, lived near Johns Homestead and serves on the Friends of Johns Homestead Park board.

Kidd said the project will be complicated, but the company has engineers on the project who specialize in dam repairs and replacements and environmental permitting.

“There are lots of deferred maintenance issues,” said Kidd.

Mayor Frank Auman said Twin Brothers Lake falls under the city’s InterGovernmental Agreement (IGA) with DeKalb County for stormwater. It’s DeKalb’s job to fix it, he said.

“They now seem to be wanting to renege or find a way out,” said Auman. “Before we get a bid based on [Roots Design Studio’s] final product, we need to have some of those issues settled about how we relate to DeKalb over the fact that it’s a stormwater facility, and they are 100% responsible for stormwater in the city of Tucker.”

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