Commission hears from My Lake Guntersville

by Martha Smith The Jackson County Commission heard from Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Roden at the last commission meeting held on January 13, 2020. Roden was present to update the commissioners about My Lake Guntersville, a project of the W.E.T. Foundation and an organization aimed at preserving and protecting the lake. According to Roden, Lake Guntersville faces several threats: invasive aquatic plants; invasive species, such as Asian carp; erosion of islands, mostly caused by cormorants; contamination and litter in the reservoir. Beginning this year, TVA will no longer be spraying private and commercial areas to manage the weeds but will manage the other areas. Jackson and Marshall County, My Lake Guntersville, and other local agencies are working together to raise the necessary annual amount of $400,000 to $500,000 needed to provide the spray for private and commercial areas of the lake. Roden is hoping to raise awareness of My Lake Guntersville to educate anglers, boaters and visitors to the lake. He also hopes to rally Jackson and Marshall counties to raise funds to pay for the aquatic weed/plant management – not eradication. Roden stated, “The water quality, when you let it go completely, and even the fishermen will tell you, they don’t want the aquatic vegetation to run wild; they want it managed. If we let it run wild we lose our water quality, we lose our fishing industry, and we’ve lost our lake.” Lake Guntersville and its amenities bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year to this area. For more information about My Lake Guntersville or to learn how you can help out, visit their website at mylakeguntersville.com. The Commission also voted on several motions. The updated security plan for the courthouse, after approval from the commissioners and Circuit Court Judge Jennifer C. Holt, will be sent to The Administrative Office of Courts. The commissioners voted to approve the plan. A resolution was also approved and signed to name EMA Director Paul Smith as the Safety Coordinator. Commissioner Jason Venable presented two resolutions for the Jackson County Legislative Delegation, requesting help with the county’s financial issues for the upcoming legislative session. This was also approved.

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