JACKSON LAKE ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
FEBRUARY 21, 2020
The Jackson Lake Association general meeting was held on Friday, February 21, 2020, at the FFA/FCCLA dining hall with 123 in attendance.
President Vance Burgess called the meeting to order around 7:15 p.m. He recognized board members and other JLA volunteers.
Guest Speaker: Alexa Robinson
The speaker for the evening was Alexa Robinson, watershed protection specialist with the City of Griffin. She has worked closely with JLA volunteers that perform water quality testing. She commended JLA on having such a strong team. Each member must be certified on an annual basis and some of our volunteers have been certified for as long as seven years.
Ms. Robinson grew up in Costa Rica and shared photos of her growing up as a nature lover, which she said contributed to her love of water. She is heavily involved in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, which is part of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Her role includes educating students in the classroom as well as helping citizens evaluate and protect their local lakes and other local waterways.
Introduction of Wes Lewis
Vance introduced Wes Lewis, who is the new Georgia Power Company (GPC) representative for Jackson Lake. Wes took the podium and said that he is currently the only employee in the office, but that approval has been given to fill Debra Laabs’ position which has been vacant since her retirement. He provided his cell phone number (478-223-1105) in case he can’t be reached in the GPC office.
Wes said that the most frequent question he had been asked recently is why GPC doesn’t react more quickly to drop water levels when heavy rains are predicted. He said that they would basically need information two weeks in advance which is impossible due to unpredictable weather and that it is a misconception that GPC can be doing more. He praised the Obermeyer gates’ performance in controlling the lake level during the recent heavy rains. Wes said the GPC has updated its statewide shoreline guidelines. These are available at www.georgiapowerlakes.com/shoreline_guidelines/
Updates were provided as follows:
Disabled Vessel Assistance Program – Vance Burgess said that JLA is researching the formation of a service to assist stranded boaters. It would require at least 20 volunteers who would rotate being on call and assisting with dispatch. He said that there are a lot of hurdles to such a program and it is only in the exploration phase at this time. He passed around a sign-up sheet to volunteer with this project.
Lake Cleanup – Smitty Smith reminded us of the trash cleanup to be held on February 22nd at 1:00 pm. Participants are to start at three locations with a meal to be served after the cleanup. He asked members of the Water Quality committee to stand and commended them on their efforts.
Trash Trap – Jared Godin reported that the trash trap that has been purchased by DeKalb County has been completely built and is scheduled to be installed on the South River by the second quarter. He also said that a location is being studied for a second trash trap on the Yellow River. He said that if anyone had a contact for a shooting range that is located near the Yellow River in Newton County, to let him know. Funds that were donated for the trash trap will be used for the second trash trap.
Barge – Jared Godin also said there is a private barge on the lake that is for hire for performing cleanups in hard to reach areas.
Events – Jared Godin displayed a poster listing all JLA events for 2020 and said they are available to anyone wishing to display them in local businesses. He also urged members to let him know if they had ideas for other events that JLA might sponsor.
Finance – JLA is in a good financial position. Revenues from annual dues will be received during the early part of the year. JLA has approximately $160,000 with more than half of that being donations received for the trash trap.
Locators – Bud Cowan reported that along with other committee members, Ken White and Skip Davis, the committee has come up with a prototype for a locator, which was on display. They are recommending that the locators be installed at 10 permanent locations throughout the lake. They would be installed in concrete on homeowners’ private property. Bud was available to display a map of the lake showing proposed general areas for the locators. He asked for volunteers of homeowners in these locations that are willing to use their properties for the locators. The committee has been working with Wes Lewis at GPC to get approval, and the installations are pending legal approval from GPC. Bud also commended JLA member Roger Fenton, who originally suggested the locators, whose purpose is to provide a reference to 911 operators and others in responding to incidents on the lake. The locators will be marked with a letter and a number that will be used to indicate the general area of the lake along with the location within that general area.
JL Sun – The latest issue will be in the mail in early March. The deadline for the next issue is May 1st. Article submissions are requested.
Art Contest – Nick Ellis said that the art contest is underway. Schools in Jasper, Newton, Butts and Henry Counties have been provided applications. Private schools have also been included. He urged members to spread the word about the contest also. In addition to awarding prizes to individual winners, the teacher of the class of the student providing the winning submission will be awarded $500. The winning artwork will be used on future JLA T-shirts and promotional materials.
CPR Training – CPR training will be provided at Turtle Cove on May 2nd for a charge of $46. The training will be provided by JLA member Jimmy Smith, who is a fireman and is also involved in the Disabled Vessel Assistance Program.
Vendor Exhibits – At a member’s suggestion, at the May 22nd JLA General Meeting, vendors will be allowed to set up booths to promote their local goods and services. The exhibit time will begin an hour before the meeting begins. Wendy Williamson has forms that must be completed in order to obtain a booth. Exhibitors must be JLA members. Booths are available on a first come, first served basis.
Membership Committee – Diane Davis said that two additional volunteers are needed to serve on the Membership Committee. The committee has a goal of increasing JLA membership.
After door prizes were awarded, the meeting was adjourned.
Minutes prepared by Beth Rogers,