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Friday, May 6, 2016

Bend residents worry lake level won't return

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Staff Writer

A request by Boxhound Marina owner Ed Sac to lower Crown Lake by 3 feet in October so he can repair his boat ramp has raised concerns among Horseshoe Bend Crown Lake property owners.

"We're afraid it won't come back," said property owner Grover Neel.

Neel, who owns a house on South Shore Drive, said he and other lakefront property owners are worried that if Horseshoe Bend experiences a dry winter the lake won't regain its previous water level.

"Stuff (vegetation) would grow up all over the place and our property values could be destroyed," he said.

Neel said several property owners are worried that lowering the lake will cause damage to their boats, docks and pumps used to bring in lake water to water their lawns.

The Horseshoe Bend MRID voted in favor of drawing the lake down July 15, but MRID Commissioner Lee Mears told members of the Horseshoe Bend City Council July 19 that the MRID is reconsidering that decision.

Horseshoe Bend Mayor Bob Spears said City Hall has been flooded with calls from property owners who oppose lowering the lake.

Mears said he understands the lakefront property owners' concerns, but they are unwarranted. He said the commission has talked with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the possibility that Crown Lake would not return to its previous water level is miniscule.

He said Bull Shoals Lake has been lowered several times without any problems.

Residents who own boats or docks near the shore need to prepare for the drawdown so damages can be minimized, Mears said.

According to the MRID office, commissioners have endorsed a plan to drain 10-inches of water through a pipe already in place. The rest of the water would then be pumped over the spillway.

"Before the MRID decides to draw the lake down, I think they need to research this more," said Mayor Spears.

According to a letter sent out by the MRID office, drawing the lake down is the most economical way for Sac to repair his ramp.

The letter stated that property owners will be able to make repairs to their beachfront property and Sac said he would allow boat owners in Horseshoe Bend to launch their boats free of charge from Boxhound.

Neel said the letter outlined the positive aspects of lowering the lake but it failed to detail any of the negative side effects.

"Why should the MRID risk everyone's (lakefront property owners) livelihoods just for Boxhound Marina? It doesn't seem right," said Neel.

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