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It was brought to our attention late last week that some property owners around Willisburg Lake were violating the law by occupying city property without permission.
Some have built steps or docks on the shoreline, others have cleared trees and mowed the grass low. Others have left canoes, tables and chairs by the water.
Some of these additons make for an attractive property, we can’t argue that.
But what we can argue is that the shoreline property - at least 100 feet of it above the high water line and in some cases more - belongs to the City of Willisburg.
References in the minutes of past council meetings, maps of the lake parcels at the PVA office and property deeds all indicate that the city owns the property.
Some property owners may not realize that. We think Willisburg Mayor Pat Kirsch’s main objective is to inform those residents.
However, some residents have been informed and have chosen to do nothing to reverse the course of their actions.
In the instances of clearing out trees and vegetation along the shore, we believe progress should be made toward re-seeding and letting Mother Nature take over again.
While the grass may look better short, and the view of the lake from the living room window may look better without all those trees, it’s important to consider the health of the lake.
Those trees and grass stop erosion, something we’d hate to see along the shores of this county’s hidden treasure.
We can’t fault some of the property owners for what’s already been done.
Perhaps in the past nothing was ever said about building on thcity property. But, Kirsch is adamant about protecting the county’s source of drinking water.
We hope that the residents around this beautiful property will start a conversation with the mayor and begin to change the way things are done around the lake.
We think and hope that any damage done is minor and that a swift change will result in a healthier lake and, in some cases, less clutter around the shore.
Please help protect our lake and abide by city laws.
The editorial board consists of Shorty Lassiter (general manager), Brandon Mattingly (sports and news reporter) and Jesse Osbourne (editor).
Occasionally we will share our collective view about topics in the community.