Commissioners set to decide the fate of Carter’s Lake

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Next week will see the decision of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners on what to do with for sites on Carter’s Lake.

The board met today with citizen’s over the issue in a Special Called Meeting at 10 a.m. Along with them were representatives of the Corps of Engineers who are looking at closing the four public access sites on Carter’s Lake including Woodring, Ridgeway Church, Harrison Branch, and Doll Mountain.

With budget cuts in their future, the Corps of Engineers is looking at two options for Gilmer County to take more control and responsibility for Carter’s Lake, outright leasing the properties to the county or entering a cooperative management agreement.

The lease option would allow the county full control over the property to do whatever they want with it. This comes with the county receiving all funds raised through access fees and full control of that fee structure as well. The county would also take on full responsibilities for the locations leased, including costs and operations.

Cooperative Management puts more stringent restrictions on the county where they must follow the Corps of Engineers fee structure and find agreements with the Corps on operational and improvement functions. They two would split proceeds from fees as specified in the agreement they would make. While excess funds would be the county’s to use strictly for the locations on Carter’s Lake in the agreement. This would also split responsibilities for these locations as well.

Though much discussion was raised during the meeting, Chairman Charlie Paris suggested the board not take action today with the regular meeting scheduled for next week, October 16 at 6 p.m.

Though the two current commissioners discussed the option of leasing Harris Branch and entering agreements on the other three locations, next week will give rise to a final decision as they continue investigating until then.

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