News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY County and state water management experts show Congressman Tom Rooney (center) and representatives for State Representative Denise Grimsley and State Senator J. D. Alexander the design of the flood control system coming out of Little Lake Jackson. They stand on a dam in the Jackson-Josephine canal.
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published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Rooney inspects Lake Jackson
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Congressman Tom Rooney visited Lake Jackson Tuesday afternoon to see for himself the problems lakeside residents have as a result of the lake's historic low water levels.
Joined by state and county water experts and elected officials as well as private citizens, Rooney examined the U.S. 27 bridge over the channel connecting Lake Jackson with Little Lake Jackson and two of the dams in the canal leading south out of Little Lake Jackson.
The dams were constructed in the 1960s to control area flooding.
"This is a fact-finding trip to see whether there is a federal nexus," Rooney told the News-Sun, "and if there isn't a federal nexus, then what are the options. I'm here to meet the players and try to learn the issue better."
James Dean, a lakeside resident who has been in the forefront of seeking a solution, was on the tour. "It went well," he said. "We got the right people to come and see. The first step was the meeting (with citizens and state and county experts in September). This was the second step."
No decisions have yet been made as to what actions should be taken or when. There are two reasons for that -- the question of funding and the need to understand the scope of the problem in the context of the entire water system.
For example, Clell Ford, the county lakes manager, explained to the group that filling in the canal between the two dams would cause flooding upstream.
The focus right now, Ford said, is building a cooperative effort between the various agencies and governments. The Florida Department of Transportation has agreed to get permits to clear the channel under the bridge and requests for funding are in process.
In the meantime, recent rains have raised lake levels.
What about the other lakes? (by: hands on - 10/21/2012)
In Avon Park Lake Lotela is low as well. He must not be seeking AP's vote!
Real embarrassment (by: Blindman - 10/20/2012)
Real embarrassment should be; waking up the next day, checking the responses to your earlier post with the revelation that others can tell you have been drinking.
Lake Jackson (by: Richard Roessler - 10/19/2012)
You can tell its election year..If elections were every 8 years the lake would dry up. It a shame that these politician are son shameful and only show up for election time. I would be embarrassed to show up now.
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