MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The TVA officially announced its plan to temporarily manage the invasive weeds in the Guntersville Reservoir.
Marshall County Commission Chair James Hutcheson says this is a big accomplishment for the area and it’s something officials in Marshall and Jackson Counties have been working to do. “We’ve all been working with the TVA for the past two years to try to get them to come back in, and resume the weed control in the reservoir,” Hutcheson says.
Since 2010 the TVA required property owners to pay for weed control in the private portions of the reservoir, and the TVA controlled weeds in the public areas.
Officials say they want to cut back on the lake weeds, but not eliminate the plant life completely.
With this new agreement the TVA says it will fully fund a healthy balance of weeds throughout the entire reservoir for three years. “Eventually they want the county, the city and the stake holders to take back over,” Hutcheson says.
After those three years, the TVA plans to reduce funding by one third, so by 2019 all the treatments for the commercial and residential areas will be fully managed and funded by a local board made up of local representatives who have an interest in the lake. “This will give us time to set up some kind of funding mechanism, work with TVA,” Hutcheson says.
Hutcheson says one benefit in creating a balance of the invasive weeds will be that it will help keep property taxes on water-front land from decreasing, which in turn will keep those taxes steady.
Commissioners say being able to create a board and work on a long-term solution to keep that balance in the reservoir is a great opportunity. “I’m very elated that they have agreed to come in and do this,” Hutcheson says.
The TVA will resume treating the entire reservoir this summer.
The local board to eventually take over is in the process of being created.
The TVA will continue to treat the public areas of the reservoir once that board fully takes over.