Conway ash pond cleanup on smoother track than city’s hope for what comes next

The excavation of two ash ponds at Santee Cooper’s decommissioned Grainger Generating Station in Conway is ahead of schedule, but the desire of the city to turn the plant’s cooling lake and land on the other side of the plant into a recreation area might not go as smoothly.

“We’re working to preserve Busbee as a lake rather than [it turning into] a swamp if it is allowed to drain,” said Conway Mayor Alys Lawson.

That’s fine with Santee Cooper, which will deed the lake to an entity that’s qualified to manage it, according to spokeswoman Mollie Gore.