GAINESVILLE – Hall County commissioners agreed Thursday evening to support efforts by the Lake Lanier Association to clean up abandoned boats and boat docks that litter the shoreline of Lake Lanier.
Commissioners agreed to “test the water” for the first year of the sponsorship effort, joining Forsyth County and the Association in a trilateral agreement.
“We love our lake,” Commissioner Billy Powell said as he introduced the motion, but “it has gotten to where there are what they designate as ‘derelict and abandoned docks and boats’. Some of these are completely submerged in the lake.”
“It’s been a very tough battle figuring who has jurisdiction on that; everybody thinks it’s the Corp of Engineers; the Corps of Engineers doesn’t have any money to address a sunken boat,” Powell explained.
Powell continued, “The Lake Lanier Association has taken this upon themselves and for the first time they’ve been allocated $25,000 from the Department of Natural Resources to remove these abandoned and derelict docks and boats.”
Powell said he and Commission Chairman Dick Mecum had “a joint meeting with the Lake Lanier Association and the Forsyth County Commission. The Forsyth County Commission has agreed to match dollar-for-dollar what the Lake Lanier Association would… put into a project.”
Powell said it was time for Hall County to join the effort.
“I would propose since…most of the lake is in Hall County…that we match on a…dollar-for-dollar (basis) up to a total of $15,000 for the entire year,” Powell said in the form of a motion.
Powell said the first project on the Association’s list is a sunken houseboat “down close to Sunset Cove on the south end of the county. They would like to remove that before the holiday (Fourth of July) weekend for obvious reasons.”
Powell explained that prioritizing the clean-up projects would be left to the discretion of the Lake Lanier Association.
The measure was approved unanimously and will be reviewed on an annual basis.