Get behind lake effort for sake of community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2000

For 25 years the question of Walnut Creek Lake has been hanging over the heads of Pike Countians offering unfulfilled promises of a recreational lake that would serve the community and could have the potential to bring an economic boon to the area.

After the expenditure of thousands of man hours and thousands of dollars as people look at plans, reports, surveys and projections, Pike County is seemingly no closer to the realization of this dream than it was a quarter of a century ago.

Leaders in the community seem to agree that the lake is a good idea and from where we sit, it’s difficult to find fault with that assessment. Putting aside the issues of water contamination, property displacement and environmental concerns over wetlands, it cannot be argued that while Walnut Creek Lake may not be good for a select few people, it is good for the whole.

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It is, therefore, apparent that Pike County stands to gain by the establishment of such a lake, but now we must weigh those other factors and come to a decision about what must be done.

Noting the success of Pike County’s newest representative in the Alabama State Legislature, Alan Boothe, who ran on a Walnut Creek platform, it is obvious that this is something that locals want and feel that they need in order to realize the potential that now sits relatively untapped before them.

Taking this into account, we must seek to find a way to alleviate those concerns before stated – specifically the environmental and personal needs that must be met – so progress on this project can continue.

Hampered by increasingly strict regulations regarding the environment, it is obvious that waiting longer to seek to tap this potential will likely be fruitless. ADEM, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, has tightened its grip in order to preserve environmental integrity in communities throughout the state and this trend will continue.

Completing this project is vital to the county and represents a return on the many hours and dollars spent thus far on Walnut Creek. That is why it is imperative for residents to get behind this project.

Great deeds are accomplished through the visions of the few and the actions of the majority. Visions have been realized and now it is time for action, starting at the community level.

Without your support, more tax dollars will likely be thrown into a project without public interest seeming to be apparent. And time has taught us all that naysayers speak louder than those who seek progress do. Because of this, we must throw our weight, our energy and our voices behind Walnut Creek Lake.

A failure to do so will keep Pike County on its current path to nowhere on this project.

A group of Troy State Students showed Pike County the issues surrounding Walnut Creek in a thorough, fair and precise piece of work that appeared in Sunday’s Messenger. It is difficult for one who looks objectively at this issue to find fault in proceeding with this project.

Contact Representative Alan Boothe and share with him and others your feelings regarding Walnut Creek. Encourage your local representatives – whether they are city council people or county commissioners or others – to take a stand on this issue and push our federal and state governments forward in the name of progress.

A failure to do so will result in more money and more time spent for nothing. And that’s not the kind of fruitless investment Pike County and its citizens can afford to make.

May 3, 2000 10 PM  

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