County accepting bids to replace tornado-hit Oconee Springs cabins

Prior to a Jan. 21 tornado strike, this now barren area at county-owned Oconee Springs Park contained four rental cabins, docks and trees. The county is now accepting bids on replacement cabins. (Photo by Don Richeson.)


By Shannon Sneed / Staff

OCONEE SPRINGS -- Putnam County officials decided this month to replace the Oconee Springs Park cabins and large pavilion totaled in a Jan. 21 tornado.

The Putnam County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its Feb. 3 regular meeting to first accept bids on just four new rental cabins at the county-owned park. Some of the work is expected to be completed as early as Easter, when a large function is planned for the park. Bids are due by 10 a.m. Feb. 24, according to a county notice.

The four original cabins were blown off their foundations by the twister -- which even carried one cabin into Lake Sinclair. They were unoccupied at the time and no one at the park was seriously injured during the twister strike.

Specifications for the planned replacement cottages are 400 feet long, 43 feet wide and 12 feet high. They would likely be one-bedroom with a sofa bed in the family room.

County officials also reportedly plan to reconstruct the park's pavilion area and playground, and do some landscaping to replace downed trees -- but apparently haven't yet decided on a time frame to do so.

Builders will also reestablish floating docks to replace the damaged 12 boat slips, changing to a "six pack" of slips with a bridge.

County Manager Paul Van Haute told commissioners the park would be designed to support growth into the future. “It does turn a profit for the county,” he said. “They have anywhere between 70 and 90 reservations a week they have to fill out there.”

A longtime popular wedding, anniversary and birthday party spot, Van Haute also noted OSP turns down a fair amount of customers that want to rent camping space during the holiday summer season.

District 1 County Commissioner Kelvin Irvin said the board could look into purchasing ...

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