Carroll Co. Watershed Authority

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After agreeing to a boat dock request by the Copeland Family Trust, at Southern Shores, Lot 116 at the April 27 meeting, members of the Carroll County Watershed Authority Board heard from members of the newly formed Lake Homeowners group who wanted answers concerning management at the Carroll County 1,000 Acre Recreational Lake. Also speaking during the meeting was Carroll County commissioner Barry Mac Murphy concerning the lack of communication between the Carroll County Legislative Body and the Watershed Authority.

Rick Jahnke, a member of the Homeowners group, said there were three sets of rules that govern the lake and none of them agree, including one of the main ones about the building of boat docks.

Jahnke said he was given the task of devising new rules last April.

“I spent lots of time on them and sent a copy by e-mail, but have heard virtually nothing,” he said. “Just curious to know if anything is happening about these rules.”

Watershed Authority board chairman Natalie Porter noted that no action has been taken.

“Thank you for calling our attention about something that needs to be addressed,” she said.

Jahnke said the rules need to be posted at the lake headquarters.

Lake homeowner Walt Reaster, who has appeared many times before the Authority concerning different issues he has had about the lake, discussed the lake’s management.

At the Tuesday meeting, he questioned the lake manager’s name and his responsibilities.

“No one can ever get in touch with him or anyone and there is no written definition of what he is suppose to be doing,” said Reaster.

He complained of people trashing areas around the lake with litter.

“Someone needs to put up ‘no litter’ signs so the sheriff can make arrests,” said Reaster. “The manager needs to be at these meetings and needs to put up these ’no litter’ signs.”

Watershed Authority secretary Kim Carter said anyone could call city hall and the message would be relayed to manager David Rush.

Reaster also questioned how could the Homeowners’ group contact someone when something needs to be done instead of having to come to the Watershed Authority Board meetings each month. He mentioned that boats are running 65 mph in the no wake zone as well, an illegal activity he has long complained about.

“We need rules in place so they can be enforced,” he said. “There is a retired attorney who lives on the lake who will be glad to assist.”

Murphy spoke concerning the April 12 action of the County Legislative Body when a resolution was passed to limit future growth revenue tax to $50,000 annually through April 2031 for the 1,000 acre lake.

“You can see what can happen when you don’t have cooperation,” said Murphy. “We’ve got a $28 million asset out there and why don’t we want to pay it off?’

Some $11,053,900 is currently owed on the lake.

Murphy said there is no communication between Watershed board and county commissioners.

“The lake is not going to get paid off in the next ten years,” he said. “There needs to be more sharing of information between the Legislative Body and this board.”

He concluded there needs to be a plan for the county to get out of the lake business.

“We don’t know how to operate a lake,” he said. “If it don’t get paid off, the town of Huntingdon will have to pay it off.”

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