Watershed Authority Approves Budget, Hears Complaint of Rules Violations
HUNTINGDON (June 26) — Carroll County Watershed Authority members approved the 2018-19 fiscal year budget during its Tuesday, June 26 meeting. The board heard complaints from Walt Reaster, a lakefront resident, who said boaters ignore the no wake zone rules.
The $1,050,759 budgeted expenditures are funding through $944,750 in revenues including an anticipated $500,000 state grant, $55,178 pulled from reserves and $36,358 revenues over expenses carried forward from the previous fiscal year. The anticipated revenues over expenses are $1,598.
Each licensed vehicle in Carroll County has assessed $10 annually on a wheel tax, which nets $245,000. A property tax of $60,000 generated from appreciated value of the real estate in the lake area is also added to revenues. Other revenues include $47,100 from permits and licenses, up from $40,650 last year and $37,000 two years ago; marina revenues of $43,500, boat dock fees of $15,000, concessions of $2,500, RV park rentals of $20,000, miscellaneous sales of $2,500, and gasoline sales of $5,000.
Expenditures are: operating expenses of $155,450; monitoring station $800; sale of fuel $4,000; concession/ pavilion expenses $9,050; marina operations, $3,300; RV park expenses $16,700 and meeting/conference room $17,500, and principal and interest payments of $843,959. The debt retires in the year 2055 and the wheel tax is anticipated to end in 2034. In 2016, the actual cost was approximately $26 million.
In other business, the board approved a request from Lakewood Capital Group to cut and grind trees and saplings in the 50-foot lakeside buffer area adjacent to property owned by the developers. Tennessee Department of Conservation approved the request as long as the vegetation roots are not destroyed. The buffer zone is owned by the Watershed Authority, not adjacent landowners.
Walt Reaster made one of his regular monthly appearances at the meeting to complain about boaters disregarding the rules concerning no wake zones in the upper end of the lake. He said the boaters are speeding and throwing big wakes and destroying the habitat of wildlife. The overhead TVA powerlines serve as the boundary between the area for pleasure boating and fishing-only, no-wake zone. Reaster showed board members a video of a boater who totally disregarded the rules. As in past meetings, Reaster asked the board to place a staff member in a boat to at least record the boat’s registration numbers and then ban them from the lake.
As in the past, Reaster was told the associates of the Watershed Authority have no law enforcement authority.
In the past, Sheriff Andy Dickson told Reaster the CCSO cannot enforce the lake’s rules. The CCSO only enforces laws.
Reaster asked the board to request additional patrol by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which has the authority to enforce safety and fishing rules.
“You are not getting anywhere by doing nothing,” concluded Reaster.
Reaster also alerted the board of a shallow sandbar on the lake.
Board members in attendance were Tommy Surber, Dale Kelley, Bob Clark, and Joe Smothers. Absent were Kenny McBride and Natalie Porter.