There’s just 12 more days to sign a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to potentially change the way the corps operates West Point Lake.
Petitions at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, Troup County Government Center and LaGrange City Hall have garnered about 107 signatures as of Wednesday morning. An online letter at the website change.org, however, has topped 1,700 signatures.
The deadline for comments, letters or complaints to the corps is Jan. 14.
Chamber President Page Estes is encouraging residents to contact the corps in any method available, but particularly to use the change.org site, if possible. She is thrilled to get more than 1,700 signatures at a time when most are preoccupied with holidays.
“It will give us an updated database of people who are concerned about the lake,” if people register on change.org, she said.
The last time local officials attempted to collect a database of names regarding the lake was in 2008, during the fundraising campaign for the economic study of West Point Lake.
The chamber and local governments want the database to be able to gin up supporters if more action is needed later.
Two months ago, the corps proposed adjusting the “rule curve” so that the annual fall and winter draw down of the lake would begin in September instead of November, effectively cutting the summer season of West Point Lake short by two months. The only way to protest the potential action is to do it now, while comments are open on the update to the water control plan for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin, which includes the lake.
Every time someone signs the petition electronically, local, state and national representatives, including the corps and our congressional delegation, get an email.
“They’re all getting the message,” Estes said. Reps. Randy Nix and Carl Von Epps of LaGrange, who represent the area in the General Assembly, say their email inboxes are full.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Grantville, also was not pleased to hear of the corps’ proposal.
“This new proposed change to the guide curve is both troubling and disappointing and will have a very negative economic impact on West Point Lake and the surrounding area,” he said Wednesday. “Congress has authorized West Point Lake for recreational use and that must be recognized. My staff and I have worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and local officials for many years on this issue and I will continue to advocate for West Point Lake.”
Other petitions and letters will be delivered to the corps by the Jan. 14 deadline .
LaGrange Mayor Jeff Lukken also recorded a video on YouTube on Wednesday that will air on LGTV and is on the city’s website, www.lagrange-ga.org. The video is available at http://youtu.be/Uuq3Kyqk5Ko and encourages residents to sign the petition.