Conway to discuss possibly buying contaminated Lake Busbee

Conway to discuss possibly buying contaminated Lake Busbee

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A meeting will be held Monday night in hopes of bringing Conway one step closer to deciding whether they will purchase Lake Busbee.

Ahead of Monday's city council meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m., the city will discuss the lake's contamination and how feasible it would be to purchase it.

Santee Cooper, the current owner of the lake, found elevated levels of copper and arsenic after doing some testing.

Interim City Administrator Adam Emrick said the lake is man made and continuously needs water pumped into it. If the city took this on, it could cost them anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 each year.

"Our plans, if we were to take the lake, they'd be very limited in what we could do," said Emrick, "It can't be developed. I know there's been some misconceptions. It cannot be a housing development, it can't be a commercial development. What it is going to be is either a lake or a wetland and that it what it will be forever."

If the lake stays the way it is right now, Emrick said the city is going to have to consider if they are willing to let it sit there and stay contaminated. Right now, the city is trying to find advantages of purchasing the lake because they hear from people who live in Conway all the time about how badly they want for it to stay the way it is.

"I think perhaps further testing should be done and I think that's something we're going to be talking about Monday night as well," said Emrick, "Knowing there are some contaminants, is it enough to not know there's anything else?"

Emrick said if the city could turn this place into a viable lake where people could swim, boat and fish, then purchasing it would be a no-brainer, however, because you can't do much with it at a high cost already, the city will continue to debate until they can come to a decision.

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