COLUMBUS, GA - West Point Lake brings in millions of dollars to the surrounding community, but some local officials are concerned a new proposal would mean lower water levels if approved.
Mack Toles has lived on West Point Lake in Troup County for about eight years. He says his property values have already been decreasing, and he is worried if a proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers goes into effect, things could get even worse.
"It is just disheartening and the one reason we came to LaGrange was because of the lake," said Toles.
Toles joined the crowd on Tuesday as elected officials from Troup County and LaGrange explained the lake could potentially be full from June 1 to November 1, but the proposal could shorten that time period.
"The rule curve would no longer be five months long it would be reduced by 40 percent and only be three months long. And, at September 1, they would begin drawing the lake back down for reasons we don't understand," said LaGrange Mayor Jeff Lukken.
Officials say they are worried this could hurt property values, businesses, and attractions like fishing on the lake.
Pat Robbins, the Chief of Public Affairs for the Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, told us over the phone that nothing has been decided and they are asking for the community's input through January 14.
"We need to know what their reaction is to that proposal, and that is what we are looking for and that's why we have a public comment period. So we can get input from the citizens and communities along the entire system as to what their concerns and issues are," said Robbins.
Officials and Toles urged community members to do just that.
"I just want the citizens to take a more active part in tell the Corps. What they think about it," said Toles.
Robbins says they looked at historic lake levels, and because of weather conditions the lake isn't always full at the end of the summer.
Troup County officials are asking citizens to sign a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers that can be picked up at City Hall, the Troup County Board of Commissioners Office, and the Lagrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.