Out with the old and down with the unused. Harllee Branch Power Plant on Lake Sinclair has been retired for more than a year, and now a part of it is getting demolished. The smokestack at the 50-year-old plant is coming down.
Some people in Milledgeville call the smokestack a city “landmark.”
"It's a part of the community. I mean, it'd be like taking Stone Mountain away from DeKalb County, Georgia, basically,” says Milledgeville Resident Bobby Watson.
The smokestack at Harllee Branch Power Plant is coming down October 8th. It closed in April 2015 after not being able to comply with new environmental protection regulations.
"We've been a part of this community for many, many years and we expect to continue in some form or another, but we appreciate all the residents and all the visitors in that area, their patience as we go through this process,” explains Georgia Power Spokesperson John Kraft.
Georgia Power says before the demolition, police will set up an exclusion zone to create a safe buffer for the community. Traffic will also be temporarily stopped on Highway 441 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. All boat traffic will be also prohibited from entering the zone on Lake Sinclair.
Although the plant is no longer active, there are still a handful of employees working there. A cashier at Big “R” Express across the street says the demolition employees keep their business going.
Watson says he used to work at the plant back in the '70s and '80s.
"That's been there, in fact, I was working at the plant when they built the tallest stack there,” Watson recollects.
He says the plant's smokestack has served as a landmark there and that it will be missed.
"This lake is one of the biggest lakes by shoreline in the state of Georgia. That smokestack up there was always your beacon home. When they drop that, there's going to be a lot of sad boaters on this lake,” says Watson.
Lake Sinclair is still home to many residents, but they say they just will not be welcomed by the shining lights atop the smokestack anymore.
Georgia Power's Spokesperson, John Kraft, says as of right now, there is no timeline on when the demolition of the plant will be complete or what will be taking its place in the future.