Dec. 18 Update #2: Commissioner Campione says she may move the discussion on the water issue UP to the front of the meeting if many people show up to discuss it. That means, be there at 9am - and I assume she MAY allow public input. vj Sun. 10pm
Update Dec. 18 - Added info that we confirmed that this issue WILL be discussed at the Tuesday 9am meeting of the Lake County Commission, but it will probably be at the end of the meeting during the Commissioner "Reports" section, usually after 11am. We still do not know if public input will be allowed - return here to find any updates Monday afternoon.
Dec. 16, 2011 - Send this to any other Lake County resident concerned about dropping water levels on local lakes like Lake Dora, Harris, Eustis.
Lake Apopka is the source for most water in most of our other Harris Chain lakes. It is considered, however, to be one of the most polluted lakes in Florida.
The St. John’s Water District has a Board of many people who are environmentalists and who do not live in Lake County. It is NOT the same as the Lake County Water Authority, which has no authority over rivers and lakes.
I attend many local government agency meetings, but not this one, but I know local officials who are on this Board.
One cited reason they are restricting Lake Apopka’s outflow to the other lakes is that
There was a meeting in Apopka earlier this week to discuss this.
HERE is a Daily Commercial article about the meeting and issue, and it has the better details on the water level issue. Also, HERE is an article in the Orlando Sentinel about it.
" On Dec. 8, the district began a modified reduction plan. Water discharges have still been halted at the Apopka-Beauclair lock and dam (which feeds Lake Dora, etc). But the discharges through the Burrell dam on Haines Creek have been reduced to 5 cubic feet per second (cfs) rather than eliminated."
The apparent effect on Lake Dora is that inflow of water from Lake Apopka is being halted, but yet they are opening the "downstream" opening to Lake Griffin, which means water will be flowing out of Lake Eustis while the inflow is cutoff.
What can you do about it to ensure Lake Dora water levels are not forced to drop due to outflow restrictions?
Next Tuesday, Dec. 20th, at 9-12 am, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners will be discussing this during their regular meeting. You can read their agenda HERE, although it does NOT list this water level issue because it was added late by Commissioner Leslie Campione. It is possible it will NOT be discussed until near the end of the meeting when the Commissioners give their “reports”. That could be two hours into the meeting, around 11am or after.
You can attend their meeting which is in the Board Chamber meeting room in the round County Admin building on Main St. in Tavares. Added Dec. 18: The subject WILL be discussed in the end of meeting Commissioner "Reports" section (usually after 11am) by Leslie Campione. The agenda item was added in an addendum which says:
"COMMISSIONER CAMPIONE AND CHAIRMAN – District #4 - A. Discussion regarding SJRWMD (St John River Water Management District) to close dam at Apopka-Beauclair canal and Burrell dam on Haines Creek."
Or, you can WATCH the meeting online during the meeting or watch posted archive videos later by clicking the “Live Board Meetings” icon on THIS page.
The Board, however, does not have a lot of authority over the matter, but this Board may be your only good representative to give feedback to the St. John’s Water District Board, which is why contacting them will help enforce the issue is important.
You can EMAIL or CALL the Board members before or after the meeting on THIS page. Click their name in the left column and you can find a phone number and place to enter an online message to them.
OR, if you want to send direct emails to them, here is MY master email list.
You can submit comments online under either newspaper articles above.
You can also visit the website of the St. John’s Water Management District HERE and find more info,
HERE is their website page on the Apopka water summit this week, and links to the presentations if you want more details.
These guys, Friends of Lake Apopka, have more info but watch for a bias. They care about doing what they want to restore Lake Apopka, and not necessarily what will ensure adequate water flow to the other lakes. The Daily Commercial article quoted their leader, basically saying that Apopka restoration should have priority over downstream lake levels.
"Jim Thomas, president of Friends of Lake Apopka, said there needs to be more cooperation between competing lake groups for the benefit of all the lakes.
"There will probably always be controversy over the water levels in that chain of lakes. There's just not enough water,'' Thomas said.
"Our stance is, you should give priority to taxpayer-funded restoration projects with the water level manipulation,'' he added."
Watch for future meetings.
FORWARD this to any friend concerned about low lake water levels in Lake County, FL.
I would encourage any readers to develop some type of action response, whether an email campaign, or phone calls, or a petition.
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