Butler County Times Gazette
  • Council working to solve City Lake issues

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  • The Augusta City Council faced a couple of issues around the City Lake Monday night.
    Both problems are difficult to correct and any solution could fail to make the situation better.
    One problem is the ongoing issue of the glare off of the new spillway on the west side of the dam. The new spillway is more than twice the size of the old structure. Also, due to the parafin wax used in curing the concrete, the spillway is brighter than normal and would not hold a coating or stain very well.
    The bright, new surface also casts a glare. The residents in adjacent homes formerly had a view of the lake out their back doors. Now, they have a view of the spillway - a spillway that also casts a glare into their homes.
    Since paint and stain weren't good options, the council is considering landscaping to break up the new view. However, Larry Henry of MKEC brought a proposal to the governing body that was not well received. The mix of evergreen trees and deciduous trees would have worked to block the glare. However, the trees started too far to the south and was not what several on the governing body had in mind.
    "I didn't see it as screening the glare as much as breaking up the view," Mayor Kristey Williams said. "I thought it might just obscure the structure."
    Councilor Sue Jones said neighbors in the area were not happy with the plan to use landscaping to address the issue.
    "They weren't just upset about the glare off the spillway," Jones said. "But it also blocked the view of the lake. Landscaping only blocks more of their view."
    Councilor Ron Reavis said the council couldn't solve the problem of the lost view.
    Jones said she believed MKEC got bad instructions from the council and offered to take Henry to the area and discuss possible solutions.
    The other problem at the lake is a population of adult carp that have found their way back into the lake with by fishermen who restocked them privately or from spillover from a neighborhood pond.
    Wildlife officials agreed that a population of carp could cause a problem with overcrowding due to no species being available to feed on them. The council - despite the risk of the lake going dry again - voted to spend $20,00 to stock largemouth bass and fathead minnows in the lake. This will introduce a predatory species that will control the carp population and develop a desirable game fish population for the future when fishing is finally allowed at the lake again.

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