Waterfront property isn't always a good thing. A Concerned Reader who works at Snyder's-Lance on 10th Avenue writes to tell about a phenomenon that makes working there a bit of a challenge sometimes.
"Mike, Some of us here at Snyder's-Lance like to walk from our offices on the west side of 10th Avenue to the bakery on the east side of 10th when necessary. After a rain, though, we have to navigate 'Tom's Lake' just south of the intersection of 6th Street and 10th Avenue. Can you talk to your friends with the city and see if they can do anything about this?"
Sure I can. But first, some background. Did y'all know that in addition to apparently having an occasional lake named after him, Tom Huston had an island up on Lake Harding? Huston, of course, was the founder of Tom's Peanuts back in the 1920s.
While boating on the backwaters north of Bartlett's Ferry Dam, which had only recently been built, Huston saw the island and decided to build a summer home on it for his family. In addition to being called Huston's Island, it is sometimes known as Kudzu Island and Chimney Island.
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In the interest of authenticity and keeping things natural, Huston had trees cut from the island and taken to a nearby sawmill to be cut into lumber for use in the house. When it was done, he named the place "Halawaka," for the creek that flows into the lake on the Alabama side.
Sad to say, Huston lost his peanut company to the Great Depression and then some years later the summer home burned to the ground.
Tom's Peanuts was taken over by Walter Richards (of middle school fame) and through the years has been bought and sold several times. It's currently part of the Snyder's-Lance family of snack foods.
And it apparently includes an occasional lake that irritates the good people who make the snacks.
I talked to Ron Smith, deputy director of Public Works for the city, who said he was not aware of the problem, but he would check to see if any report had been made to the 311 Citizen Service Center. In the meantime, I asked what the problem might be and how the city would go about addressing it.
He said that would depend, of course, on what's causing the low spot in the sidewalk.
"If it's a stumbling hazard, it would be a higher priority," Smith said. "If it's just a section that's settled, we'd get to it eventually."
Smith looked at an aerial view of the area and said there appears to be a drain near where I was describing the problem. If it's just a clogged up drain, it will be a quick and relatively easy fix.
"We'd just send somebody over there to suck the drain out," Smith said.
Meanwhile, if it hasn't yet been reported to 311, we'll make sure that gets done.
Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: According to reports, there was a drain clog issue. The city is working on resolving the issue now (see inset photo).