Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Fontana Lake businesses close for the season

Written by 

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Two of the three boat docks on the Swain County side of Fontana Lake shut their doors before Labor Day, traditionally one of the biggest money-making weekends of the season for lake businesses.

As of last week, Greasy Branch Marina and Alarka Boat Dock had ceased operations for this year. This accounts for a loss of almost $1.5 million to Swain County, according to estimates by Commissioner David Monteith, who serves as the president of the Fontana Lake Users Association.

For weeks, business owners on Fontana have watched their livelihood dry up as lake levels have plummeted to almost 50 feet below normal. The Tennessee Valley Authority has drawn down the lake in order to compensate with the worst drought in 115 years.

“The amount of water that usually reaches the reservoir is 52 percent below normal because of a lack of rain and runoff. That’s the reason you’re seeing the level out on Fontana,” said Gil Francis, a TVA media representative.

Some, though, feel that Fontana is being targeted more than other lakes in its drawdown. The TVA draws water from its reservoirs to balance the competing demands of flood control, power production, river navigation and recreation.

At last week’s county commissioners’ meeting, Monteith called for a formal meeting between TVA and dock owners, merchants, lake users and state representatives. Monteith presented a petition with the signatures of more than 500 people in support of a formal meeting.

“We need to step up and help these guys,” Monteith said to the other commissioners.

Francis said he had not yet heard of any formal requests for a meeting. He said that TVA officials traveled to area media outlets at the beginning of the summer to forewarn of lower lake levels than normal this season.

However, it appears that a formal meeting of the scale proposed by Monteith would be the first effort of its kind.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Read 1145 times


blog comments powered by Disqus

This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceWhen the camera bulb flashed, it hit me — had it really been that long?

    Standing in the Belhurst Castle, a Great Gatsby-esque property situated on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y., I realized it had been around a decade since my childhood friends and I had been in the same room together. And yet, here we were, drinks in hand, smiles plastered across our faces, as family members and dates for the wedding stood in front of us, eager to capture the moment we all were huddled as one.

    Written on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:33