Lake Gaston Association 2012 Actions

Supporting Our Members

This year has been a particularly busy one for your LGA volunteers – Directors and non-director committee members alike. Our actions have centered on your stated top three priorities – taxes, weed control and water quality - as provided last year in response to our member survey and in topic-specific surveys we have conducted since then. The actions we have taken to date are summarized below, including those top priorities, and others we felt important. While we would like to claim all these endeavors as successes or accomplishments, that has not always been the case. However, in those actions that have not produced the desired results, we continue to follow up with responsible organizations and local governments. You are invited to revisit this page throughout the remainder of the year for updates. LGA actions for previous years are available in pdf format by clicking on the appropriate button in the right column of this page.

 

2012 Actions

In January LGA executive summary letter to the chairpersons of the Boards of Commissioners/Supervisors of Halifax, Northampton, Warren, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties & the attachment of the LGA’s Report of the 2011 Five County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Emergency Communications (E-911) Review.

 

Between January 16th & April 6 1st letters were written to each of the Boards of Commissioners/Supervisors in Halifax, Warren, Northampton & Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties from the Lake Gaston Association at the beginning of the FY 2012-2013 budget process stating the specific needs of our members relative to their particular county. Each letter is delivered by an LGA director representing their particular county to a monthly Commissioners/Supervisors monthly meeting & read to them in the citizens comments agenda section. The LGA director then hands an individually signed copy by the LGA president to each Commissioner/Supervisor, County Manager/Administrator & Clerk to the Board.

 

In March chairmen of the five county boards of Commissioners/Supervisors were invited to attend the 3rd annual 2012 Five County Forum on March 15 at the Lake Gaston Lions Den. They were also asked to bring an additional Commissioner/Supervisor as well as their County Manager/Administrator. Topics for the agenda were Tourism, Noxious Weed Control, Emergency Medical Services, Economic Development, Lake Cleanup Day 2012 and Taxes. Thirteen Commissioners/Supervisors and County Managers/Administrators attended.

 

On April 6 3rd LGA emailed their Halifax County members to let them know that The Halifax County School Board had requested that a referendum be placed on the May 8 Halifax County Ballot wherein voters would be asked to vote FOR or AGAINST a new school tax, which would impact those who own property in the Halifax County Public School District. The referendum would exclude those who reside in the school districts of Roanoke Rapids and Weldon; both of those districts already have a school tax. Included in the email was background information we knew at that time. In that email LGA members wanted to understand from their members whether they were for or against the proposed tax. Halifax County LGA members emailed their responses back to the LGA and the majority were against the tax. Subsequently, the LGA sent a press release to area newspapers on April 23 announcing that the LGA was opposed to the additional burden of a school tax on property owners in the Halifax County School District, and urged Halifax County District voters to vote no to the tax on May 8.

 

Also in March, the Lake Gaston Association received a $2,000 grant from O’SAIL through the Friends of Lake Gaston Associations, a non-profit organization. The funds were used to purchase five additional handheld computers, secchi disks, rakes, plant identification books that would be used in the annual Volunteer Aquatic Vegetation Survey. The new equipment will help expedite the 2012 survey, allowing more volunteers to be on the lake at the same time.

 

In April the Lake Gaston Association held three “Meet the Candidate Forums” for Northampton County on April 7 where 13 candidates attended; Halifax County 12 candidates attended on April 14; and Warren County (need to find out how many candidates attended) on April 21.

 

The LGA Public Safety Committee made the first of five visits to County Sheriff Departments in connection with the committee’s area law enforcement survey. One department will be visited each month and results of the survey will be reported when those visits are completed.

 

At the end of April we kicked off the LGA 2012 Opinion Survey with 273 survey forms sent to our members without email; an email to 1182 members with a link to the survey form; and a PSA to area newspapers & radios inviting the public to participate as well. Deadline to complete the survey was May 25. We received 260 responses for a Response Rate of 17.3%. LGA Opinion Surveys were started in 2003 and are conducted every three years. The frequency allows for analysis of the results; action plans to be developed within the LGA committees to address members’ concerns; time to implement the action; & time to see the results of those actions occur before the next survey is due.

 

On Saturday May 5 the LGA’s Second Annual Take Pride in Lake Gaston Lake Clean-up Day took place. Despite some intermittent rain showers, and less than full dumpsters at the three sites designated for the event, we consider the event a success and look forward to even more participation next year. In all, 33 subdivisions said they participated, spread pretty evenly around the lake. A special thanks to the Upper Reach Loons who held a paddle between the Tailrace at Kerr Dam and the Steel Bridge on Saturday and picked up trash along the way. The 3rd annual Lake Clean-up Day is set for June 1, 2013, the weekend after Memorial weekend so as to seek greater participation from the summer lake-goers.

 

In June the LGA sent a letter to the Littleton Board of Commissioners giving the LGA’s support to the W.C. “Billy” Jones, Jr. Memorial Library in Littleton for the services the library provides to our members, especially the part-timers.

 

In July members of the Environment Committee, along with representatives from NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Brunswick County and many other volunteers spent Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17 and 18, supporting a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Re-vegetation Project in the flats area of Lake Gaston. Financing of the project was provided by the Corps and the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council. Volunteers gathered at Granite Hall Shores subdivision where the hard work of assembling several wire enclosures took place that were then transported to the flats, secured with rebar, and planted with 125 native aquatic plants that were grown by the prisoners at Caledonia prison. Plant species included Wild Celery, Illinois pondweed, American pondweed, Bur-reed, Spatterdock and Watershield. The Project is a key initiative in support of the overall Lake Gaston Weed Management Plan that works toward the reduction of noxious weeds in the lake but establishes native plants to replace them and maintain a healthy and clean ecological environment. The work is hard but the results should benefit the lake for years to come.

 

Officer elections for the year 2012-2013 were voted on by the LGA Board of Directors at the July 11 monthly meeting. Al Potter was elected president for the next two years. No vice president at this time. Jack Saunders continues as treasurer. Tony Moran is now secretary. Doug Hughes automatically assumes past president.

 

In late August training was given to the 2012 Lake Gaston Aquatic Vegetation team members.

 

The 2012 Lake Gaston Aquatic Vegetation survey gets underway in September with a goal to again survey the entire Lake Gaston shoreline – 405 miles.